Apple relaxes rules on iAds, more in-app ads incoming?

Apple is softening its approach to its in-app iAds programme, which could spell more ads for us buyers of apps. So is that a good thing?

Things must be going badly. Apple is notorious for its uncompromising approach, so when it starts softening its usually stringent regulations, you know something's up.

And that's exactly what it's doing with its iAd mobile advertising service, the Wall Street Journal reports. Apple is making concessions to advertisers more tempted by Google's approach, which is cheaper, and works on more devices than just one company's. The result for us app fans? We could see a lot more ads in iPhone and iPad apps.

Apple initially asked marketers to commit to at least $1m (£640,000), which it later dropped to $500,000, and is now discussing a minimum commitment of just $400,000, according to sources close to the matter cited by the Journal.

The Cupertino company has also become a little more flexible, which isn't a word usually associated with it. Rather than charging marketers every time someone taps an ad, Apple is willing to put a cap on it. It's thought this is because of competition from Google's AdMob service, which charges less.

Apple has also started courting advertisers, with such big spenders as Pepsi and JC Penney visiting the Cupertino campus for tours and information sessions, as well as being able to make purchases with a discount. Apple offering discounts? Things really must be dire.

While Apple has brought customers to its campus before, this is the first time it's extended an invite to advertisers. "They are still learning the advertising world," Shiv Singh, head of digital at Pepsi, told the Journal.

Steve Jobs reportedly envisaged iAds as more like TV ads than online ones, which he thought people found irritating.

Apps continue to be a huge success for Apple though, with nearly 20 billion apps downloaded on iOS and $2.5bn earned for developers. Its Mac App Store this week surpassed 100 million downloads less than a year after launch. 

What's been your experience of in-app ads so far? And do you want to see more, if it means cheaper apps? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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