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Can Apple have its high prices and hold on to marketing data too? The success of the iPad — and its ability to get users to pay for newspaper and magazine subscriptions — has kept publishers beholden to the terms Apple sets for iPad apps. But advertisers want more data from their digital ads than they are getting, according to AdAge.
And unlike publishers, advertisers have a little more freedom on where they spend their money.
The iPad presents an interesting model for brands and publishers. But the high cost doesn't necessarily bring with it more information. And for advertisers that have become used to getting detailed data from their online purchases, that could become a problem.
So far, publishers are pleased with the amount of time that iPad users are spending with their content. Conde Nast says that users are spending more than two hours on average with its Vanity Fair and GQ apps — twice the amount of time that readers spend with the print titles.
But iPad users are not the average consumer. The high price point of the new technology means that it is still a small niche product at this point. When more demographics start using iPads, there's no guarantee that they will acquire the same reading habits.
However, readers are spending more time with magazine apps as they get accustomed to the product. According to AdAge:
"Vanity Fair's interaction times jumped more than an hour from June to July; GQ's jump was much more modest at only few minutes, according to metrics firm Flurry. Time spent with iPad apps also beat digital channels: Two hours with an iPad app trumps an average of 15 minutes on websites and 75 minutes on mobile apps per month."
But Apple is still being stingy with its data, as Brenda White, senior VP-publishing activation director at Starcom Worldwide, notes to AdAge:
"We have been waiting for any kind of data."
"Ad executives say they are used to paying between $100,000 and $200,000 for similar mobile deals."
And yet, advertisers continue to flock to the device. According to Millennial Media, ad requests on the iPad were up 160% in the first month the device was on the market.
But that doesn't mean that such enthusiasm will continue. Interaction rates are great for publishers, but that's not the data advertisers are looking for. Adam Kasper, senior VP-digital innovation for Havas Digital, tells AdAge:
"People spending more time with apps than magazines is interesting, but it's not something that's going to make me want to shift budgets just yet."
Ads on iPad apps now reportedly cost between $50,000 to $1 million. AdAge's sources report that such commitments cost three to 10 times as much as similar buys on the sites of premium digital publishers online.
Apple has done an impressive job furthering and controlling the mobile digital space. But while the iTunes store has been able to monetize digital music and building up Apple's place within it, magazine and newspaper subscriptions are a different breed.
If Apple can get consumers to pay for subscriptions in the mobile space, publishers will be beholden to the way the company wants to share its data with them. But advertisers have more options as to where they spend their money. As Chris Allen, VP-director of video innovations, Starcom USA, puts it:
"So far the results have been strong in terms of traction. We're meeting audience-delivery estimates, but what we are still lacking is engagement metrics. We definitely need to take it further with third-party tracking."