Advertising agency Hill Holiday blogged about their visit from Apple's iAd team -- you know, the folks who want to make mobile ads not suck -- and shared what they could about the experience:

  • They saw the Toy Story ad from Steve Jobs' iPhone OS 4 keynote live and in person and liked the less jarring, place-keeping nature of the iAd.
  • iAds will be branded so you can tell them apart from more-jarring, browser-jumping ads from other networks, and there'll be only one per app screen, top or bottom.
  • iAds look and behave like apps and have full access to the OS.
  • Apple will build all iAds in house to start, with an iAd SDK coming later
  • Launching in June with "charter" ads, only for iPhone and iPod touch with iPad coming later
  • No details on targeting yet
  • They did hear about price but can't talk about it yet. Think premium though, straightforward and elegant.

Meanwhile MediaMemo thinks Apple is going to again use the double-punch combo of great technology and SDK license restrictions to make it difficult for rivals to compete on the iPhone platform:

[Competitors are] concerned about language in the contract that seems to ban apps from transmitting data that third-party ad networks would use to track their ads’ performance. If they’re right, Apple’s contract would severely handicap rival “in-app” ad networks–like Google’s AdMob–without formally banning them.

“Ads don’t exist without analytics,” says a mobile ad executive. “Can’t measure it, can’t bill for it.”

They can go advertise to Android, BlackBerry, or Palm users any way they like (so far), just not iPhone users any other way than what Apple lets them. Magazines control what ads go on their pages, can Apple expect people to accept their doing the same thing on their devices? (Or at least giving themselves a significant advantage on the iPhone?)

[Hill Holiday and MediaMemo via Macrumors]