The Apple iAd mobile advertising platform could prove to be a masterstroke by the iPhone maker, as new research from IDC suggests the new platform is gaining market share from its rivals.
The research indicates that the Apple iAd mobile advertiser will finish with 21% of the nascent mobile ad market. Google is expected to finish with 21%, a drop from 27% last year, and Microsoft will drop to 7%, from 10%.
For all the big talk in the mobile ad space, the market is expected to generate about $500 million this year. That’s not a pittance but it’s still very small compared to the online ad market.
The Apple iAd platform was introduced with the 4.0 version of the iOS software and the goal is to bring full, rich-media ads in apps. These iAd advertisements are a full part of the OS, so it can potentially do anything the iPhone can do like access the accelerometer.
Nissan has been happy with its Apple iAd campaign, as it has seen a high level of engagement. Not everyone has this view on Apple iAd though, as some marketers have said Apple has too big a role in the creative process.
As for the competition, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft probably showed a higher number of ad impressions even if the shares dropped. Google spent close to a billion dollars acquiring adMob and this could eventually be the de facto advertising standard for Android.
At a marketer’s conference recently, Microsoft said that the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform will be an ad-serving machine. Yahoo has also reoriented its whole business to have mobile at the forefront, so look for it to have a strong solution as well.
As smartphones become more prevalent, this market will only become more important, so it will be fun to see who will be the clear winners and losers.