September 22, 2007 |
It was announced yesterday that Podaddies, a San Francisco-based video advertising start-up, had recently inked a deal with Apple to develop advertising compatibility for Quicktime and iTunes. No money has been exchanged in the deal, but does this mean that future iTunes videos for download could have embedded advertisements?
Currently, Apple does not provide any ad-supported content, but I wouldn't put it past them given the revenue potential that the advertising industry now has.
The main concern that I had with ads in video downloads is the fact that a large majority of the video content downloaded via iTunes is played on mobile devices, such as iPods. Hypothetically speaking, how would Apple implement embedded ads into mobile video players if iTunes were to gain them?
That's when I discovered that the team of five at Podaddies has already developed a technology that allows ads to play on web-connected iPods and iPhones, which would still leave out older iPods and other non-connected devices. To that end, Nate Pagel, CEO of Podaddies, has stated that work is already underway on creating the same technology for other devices as well.
Is it just me or are there others who think it is more than just coincidence that this small company happened to partner with Apple while also hard at work getting their product to work with as many Apple devices as possible?
Sure there are others out there (such as Kiptronic) with similar developments who will provide competition for Podaddies, but up until this point Apple had not been involved with this growing industry, which leaves Podaddies with an advantage… not to mention a large pre-existing viewer base if Apple were to decide to implement the technology into iTunes videos.
As Kristen Nicole of Mashable noted, the inclusion of ads could be seen as beneficial, “as [Apple] could then cater to advertisers, and even better entice networks to distribute free, ad-supported content beyond pilot & season premier episodes.” This is a very interesting point, because many potential viewers (myself included) do not see any point in paying $2 per episode to download, only to watch the video once. With the announcement of NBC Direct, it has become evident that this is becoming a growing concern at some television networks.
As far as whether Apple will ever provide ad-supported content, Mr. Pagel said he doesn’t think it plans to. Hmm… they sure do seem to have a lot of interest in it if they never plan to use it.