iPad Could Be Promised Land For Media, Advertisers

Apple's iPad and new applications could be a ticket to digital interactive revenues if content producers and advertisers are creative and smart enough not to get in their own way.

The angst over pay walls and how to generate revenues the conventional way with consumers and devices is proof of media's stubborn mindset. Apple's CEO Steve Jobs is giving publishers and video producers a universal path to digital's promised land.

Unlike smartphones and laptop computers, the iPad is all about interactive media. It is the latest innovative plateau in Apple's value-driven ecosystem. It is a hybrid device that takes touchscreen media consumption and monetization to the next level -- and the iPad apps are the ticket there.

The iPad will do for print and video what the iPod did for music by providing a new economic on demand framework that resets content and marketing values to reflect the expectations of digital users.

Even at the time of the iPad's April 3 launch, many content providers and advertisers were haggling over pricing that is going to evolve and change. Those onboard have yet to explore the possibilities for using interactivity to redefine their businesses and customer relations.

Advertisers and content creators must learn to use every inch of the vibrant slate, which will lead to profitable insights and transactions. Some media and ad players have begun to embrace this new paradigm.

Walt Disney, in which Jobs is the largest individual shareholder, has announced an initial cache of free and paid apps across its Pixar and other filmed entertainment, ABC television and ESPN brand franchises.

Disney CEO Bob Iger was the first major TV producer to buy into Apple's iTunes downloads for the iPod five years ago. Now, its free Toy Story app and $8.99 Toy Story 2 app for the iPad demonstrate how to build interactive value around existing resources. They provide an array of immersive interactive activities -- from electronic fingerpainting and karaoke to games and voice-recorded reading with characters.

Newspaper iPad apps are led by The Financial Times, a publisher that is already generating profits by building interactive value around its core global business in a way that The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal only dream about. (Both have free iPad apps.) Amazon and book publishers have quickly adjusted their pricing and terms to use the iPad to supercharge their e-book sales.

Blue-chip advertisers from Unilever and FedEx to Toyota and Chase are paying $75,000 to $300,000 for the first months on print publishers' iPad apps, according to The New York Times. But Hyundai has gone the extra mile, promising buyers of its new Equus an iPad loaded with an interactive owner's manual and maintenance manager.

An early glimpse at top iPad apps and trends embrace the razzle dazzle you would expect on a 9.7-inch high-resolution display, from live sports, movies, television and video games to social video, financial graphs and eBay.

The pedestrian start of iPad apps is not as important as what promises to be their enterprising evolution. While the iPad reflects and continues to shape consumer behavior, the iPad apps will radicalize the value proposition of and access to print and video works in a way that shakes old-line media to its core.

The iPad launch is riding a wave of mounting evidence that the mobile Internet revolution (compared to prior tech cycles) is ramping faster, growing bigger and more global, and creating far more wealth than it destroys. The mobile Internet lags desktop traffic by nearly nine years now, but will be at least double the size of the desktop Internet by 2015.

Smartphones will out-ship global net books and notebooks for the first time this year, and will out-ship the global PC market by 2012, according to Mary Meeker, the dean of Internet analysts at Morgan Stanley. Cisco reports that mobile Internet traffic will increase nearly 70 percent from 2008 to 2013.

The mobile Web and its apps promise wealth creation that could eclipse what entrepreneurial companies have realized. Apple's mobile devices, apps and ecosystem have driven $166 billion in wealth creation over eight years, Meeker points out. Google's Internet search innovation has driven $186 billion in wealth creation over 11 years. Amazon's online shopping experience has driven $58 billion in wealth creation over 15 years.

The $8 billion that Apple has received in iTunes Store-related revenue since 2003 underscores how well digital content can be monetized. Consumer willingness to pay for the right content has pushed video subscriptions to comprise about half of the TV industry's total revenues. Still, advertisers spend a mere 8% on the Internet and less than 1% on mobile phones -- even as the time consumers spend with each skyrockets.

The iPad and its apps, as well as the e-tablets and applications they are sure to inspire, represent a new centralized showcase for interactive media and marketing that intersects with social networking and e-commerce.

By some analyst forecasts, the iPad will be 60 million strong and the definitive screen in 2015. Content providers and advertisers that hesitate today will wish they hadn't.

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7 comments about "iPad Could Be Promised Land For Media, Advertisers".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , April 5, 2010 at 9:37 a.m.

    1. No doubt the iPad will be able to eat our time beautifully and better than a phone. The screen is bigger. I have seen people with glasses still using a magnifying glass to read their phones.

    2. As the editor at large at MediaPost, I wonder if the spammer as above can be removed. MediaPost has such a high percentage of legitimate commentators to your articles.

  2. David Thurman from Aussie Rescue of Illinois , April 6, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.

    Not sure that the iPad itself is the savior here. I think we are still looking at a handheld device being the true item that will be were reading and interactive will happen.

    Steve Jobs is under the belief that we will have a device for every purpose, instead of one device for lots of purposes. Why would I sit on a train, and watch TV or read a mag with an iPad, and still have to have an iPhone to make calls and text, and when I get home or at school, use an iMac to write my report or FB or a number of things, like write a resume or work on photos. So I now have to have a device to read and watch TV when we are away from the couch? I see fluff, and a justification for an intermediate tool, when we have each end of the spectrum covered, we just need improvements on those, not a new middle device.

  3. Melissa Tidwell from Open Media , April 6, 2010 at 11:05 a.m.

    To those like David who can't understand where the iPad fits in with other devices, I offer the analogy of how we listen to music in my household. I have an iTunes account and an iPod and organize my music that way. On occasion I listen to Pandora, other times NPR from a clock radio or even a XM station from my television. My twenty-something daughter likes to break out a funky old boom box when she makes art in her studio, and I have a turntable and some favorite music that I prefer to listen to on vinyl. The point is, we don't think about the device all that much, we intuitively reach for the device that fits the moment and the media because these devices have been integrated into our lives.

    Right now, there may be the occasional fumbling with our laptop, desktop, isomething devices and some of the devices will change and a few will die. But the iPad looks to me to give me more freedom to pick the right device. As an avid reader, I want a bigger screen and full graphic glory for books and magazines, and as a writer I can't wait to be part of books that blend text and images and sound and movement. It's a glorious messy moment in media progress.

  4. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein , April 6, 2010 at 11:29 a.m.

    Wow! Where did all these promised lands come from?

    Thirty-five years ago, men's purses were all the rage - until we realized that we didn't need one. Now we really do need one.

    What would George Carlin think of all this ridiculous stuff?

    Anybody looking at the media landscape today would conclude that the big money is in batteries!

  5. Christopher Laurance from Distraction Marketing , April 6, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.

    Whether or not the iPad is the solution or not seems to be a funny subject on day three of its introduction.

    Here's my prediction- the iPad will finally- largely due to its portability and ease of access to large quantities of data in a non-hard drive format- provide the portable device that will not only access streaming video, audio, magazines, books, etc. but be the perfect "blue tooth" device to send that data to a higher resolution monitor (HD or 3D TV) a high quality audio system and any other device in the house- AND be so portable that you can take all those activities with you wherever and still enjoy them.

    Where does that fit into marketing? I've predicted for a long time that AOD (adds on demand) is truly the future.

    And the iPad or other similar solution will allow a marketer to produce the highest possible presentation of a product and create an interactive environment for a prospective client.

    I've been producing Augmented Reality campaigns for 3 years and the iPad will only help those.

  6. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein , April 6, 2010 at 5:24 p.m.

    Christopher,

    I think you're watching way too much Home Shopping Network.

  7. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , April 6, 2010 at 6:52 p.m.

    Hiya Mike! Just a note about Carlin. I saw him on stage a few months before the big one. He wasn't funny anymore, just mean. Said he'd be on stage for 60 min and that was that as he read most of his material doused with bland profanity. He would have carried a bag if HE wanted it and suited him since the world owed him a living. However, the biggest joke is that it is about time men had to carry a bag. After all, women do not have the same ease with belts for phones, no inside pockets in jackets and pockets on shirts....well, let's not start with imbalances. Guarantee - more things will change.