Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server

Can iAds Help You to Monetize Your App?

Jeffrey Hughes, author of iPhone and iPad Apps Marketing: Secrets to Selling Your iPhone and iPad Apps, considers how Apple's iAd platform will change the face of advertising on the next generation of apps.
Like this article? We recommend

As iPhone users await the next release of the iPhone OS 4, most are probably thinking about its multitasking and gaming hub capabilities. But if you're a developer, no doubt you're also thinking about iAd, Apple's new mobile advertising platform, and wondering if it's right for you. Here's a little background info about the iAd and its upcoming rollout.

iAd is Apple's new platform (based on its purchase of Quattro Wireless) to display advertising within iPhone and iPad applications sold on the App Store. According to Steve Jobs, iAd promises to provide a new revenue opportunity for developers and a whole new user experience viewing ads. For example, ads will show videos and other interactive features. While the "new user experience" remains to be seen, iAd is definitely going to change the playing field for advertisers and developers. Advertisers reportedly may have to pay upwards of $1 million dollars to leverage the new ad platform, which means that Apple will begin by targeting large corporate advertisers. Apple is going to become like the Super Bowl of mobile advertising, with primetime viewing on the iPhone/iPad platform going to the highest bidder.

Apple is also introducing some fairly restrictive policies for third-party mobile ad companies that want to continue using the iPhone/iPad mobile platform. For example, as quoted in Apple's new developer's agreement, Apple is restricting the use of software in an application to collect and send device data to a third party for processing or analysis. This means that a developer using a non-iAd mobile advertising platform won't be able to gather usage data and send that data back to the mobile ad company. It appears that iAd will be the only platform that can allow that kind of capability. If this is the case, Apple will essentially minimize the effectiveness of other mobile ad technologies, while providing its own platform with a key advantage when selling ads. This change also has consequences for developers who want to use analytics to gather usage information from their users to build better apps. Without usage data, some developers fear that they won't know which features need improving on their apps and which features to remove. According to recent reports, Apple will not allow usage data gathered outside of the iAd program under any circumstances.

As a developer, you may be pushed into using iAd for your mobile advertising platform; Apple will offer a clear advantage, as its ads will most likely be sold for a higher price than those of competing mobile ad vendors. You'll have to decide whether you want to get into the action by displaying ads in your applications at all. If you participate in the iAd program, you'll get 60% of the revenue generated, while Apple takes 40%.

Apple plans to roll out the first ads developed internally, working with a few select outside corporations that want to be the first to advertise on this platform. This could be for several reasons:

  • Apple likely wants to ensure the quality of the first ads that are displayed with its new technology. Having tight control out of the gate will set the bar for future advertising and help Apple to ensure its success to an audience of millions.
  • Apple has decided to utilize HTML5 technology in the development of iAd advertisements. In sharp contrast, nearly every ad agency around the world currently uses Adobe Flash for ad creation. If they're not familiar with mobile ad creation using HTML5, agencies will have to retool to use this new technology. Due to its greater level of experience with HTML5, Apple may be developing the first ads on this technology internally.

Can iAds help you to monetize your app? The answer is yes, but the same old questions remain for you as a developer. Can you make more money selling your app on the App Store, or are you better off creating a free app from which you can generate ad revenue? Some developers have found success by building free apps with ads. Their strategy is to make money by selling ad space on the app and then generating huge download numbers. And I mean huge downloads! You'll need tens of thousands of downloads to generate any sizable revenue from selling ads, regardless of the platform you choose to use.

Companies that want to advertise on this newly emerging mobile platform can utilize mobile ads and bid on ad placement, as with Google AdWords. This approach can be profitable for you as a developer if your apps achieve significant downloads and lots of users click through on ads displayed by your app. Some companies have achieved considerable success by developing a free app and posting ads in the app. You'll have to analyze what you think ad revenue will generate, versus what a paid app will generate. This has been a subject of great debate among developers, some saying there is no revenue in ads for the developer and others saying that such revenue exists. Like other mobile ad platforms, Apple may tend to give the best ads to the best app developers. This means that the apps generating the most downloads will get the best ads. The best apps with the best ads will generate the most ad revenue for Apple—and the developer.

We all will have to watch how the iAd show unfolds. It's going to start with large advertisers utilizing the best apps on the App Store. Over time, we're likely to see more and more ads being created, which in turn will open more opportunities for developers to place ads in their apps. You'll still need to decide whether creating a free app is the right approach for you, and then measure the success of downloads—as compared to selling your app for a price.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020