updated 05:05 pm EDT, Tue April 5, 2011
Pushes ads and ad companies
Apple has released iAd Gallery, a free iPhone app it describes as a "celebration of advertising." The app highlights a selection of currently-running iAds, through which people can browse using a wheel interface, or alternately search according to advertiser, category or ad feature. Ads can be "Loved" for later access, and different sections of the app provide more information on the featured advertisers, ad agencies or iAd itself.
The latter suggests that the app may not be aimed at the general public -- which often wants to avoid advertising -- so much as potential iAd clients. Apple's ad network has struggled to gain a foothold, and lost prominent clients like Adidas and Chanel. The company is in fact reported to have cut the minimum spend for iAd in half, down to $500,000.
Three central criticisms have been leveled against the network. For many marketers the minimum spend is prohibitive or a deterrent, especially given cheaper alternatives from companies like Google. iAd is moreover exclusive to iOS, and conceals metrics advertisers are accustomed to.