Apple is now making options available to iPhone advertisers on it’s recently purchased Quattro network that link directly to iTunes data and aren’t available on other networks like Admob (a DFJ investment). Full report on Techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/05/apple-vip-ad/.
This is consistent with their ongoing strategy of making apps perform well on the iPhone and making it more difficult for them to perform well on other platforms. Remember the recent change to the iPhone SDK T’s and C’s which forbids the use of third party tools which allow developers to write once and publish to multiple smart phones in one go.
In this case Quattro will enable better and easier tracking and targeting of ads on the iPhone by making use of iTunes purchase data. If developers are using Quattro to monetize their iPhone app it will be marginally more painful to drive revenue on other platforms.
If you read this blog regularly you will know I’m a big fan of the open web and when I read about developments like the one above my first reaction is to hope that they will be competed away. That hope took a dent this morning when Simon Guild (former CEO of MTV international and now chairman of Bigpoint and our portfolio company WAYN) implied in an answer to a question following his opening speech to an Investec conference that the if Google gets some effective competition (which Apple may be bringing) then high value exclusive content deals might follow as a way to attract users. This vision is plausible and would see more money flow to content creators, which would be a very good thing, but it is also a closed web vision. Either way it is starting to feel to me like we will need more regulation in this market, much as we need it for Sky and football rights in the UK.
I posted this from my iPhone where I don’t have a good blog editor and it is hard to read back over what I’ve written, so apologies for any typos.