Apple’s acquisition of Quattro has been largely drowned out by news of Google phones, iSlates and MicroSlates. The implications of that deal, however, are at least as profound for the technology world, since it redefines Apple as a media company, and places it in even more direct competition with Google and Microsoft.
Many mobile advertising execs are eager to comment on the story (probably in part because they hope to be caught up in the coming mobile ad network feeding frenzy—Microsoft, Yahoo, carriers, handset makers will all need mobile ad technology soon). These execs also understand the space well, so I thought I’d pass along some of the comments they sent in to VatorNews…
Paran Johar is CMO of Jumptap, one of the leading mobile ad networks. He draws out some of the products and services Apple could derive from the acquisition:
“What is interesting about this acquisition is how there are new players such as Apple who are now entering the mobile ecosystem aggressively vs. the typical PC Internet players of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other media companies. Handset manufacturers, software providers, infrastructure vendors, and carriers are all looking to connect the dots and carve out a share of what Morgan Stanley said will be the primary access point of the Internet in 5 years. Though it didn’t fit Apple’s existing business model, they saw the opportunity and captured it. One can only speculate where this could lead, perhaps free ad supported devices or a proprietary app store ad network? It is abundantly clear that Apple is now in the media business and will be competing head to head with Google. The mobile advertising ecosystem is unique in the sense that it is so personal and can tie so many other pieces of media together. Whether complimenting TV, out of home, or print, many other non endemic advertising companies see the enormous potential.”
Mobclix is the largest mobile ad exchange for iPhone apps. The company works with Quattro, which gives Mobclix Co-founder Krishna Subramanian a unique perspective on the deal. He says one disadvantage for Quattro is Apple’s closed garden, which will make participating in cross-platform (ie Android and iPhone) ad exchanges and networks a big no-no:
"It will be interesting to see what’s next for Quattro. There will definitely be benefits and challenges to being acquired by Apple. This relationship could bring in advertisers who see the hot opportunity of advertising via the iPhone platform. However, Quattro could face challenges when advertisers looking to work across all of the mobile platforms shy away from what looks like a monogamous relationship with Apple. With over 60 percent of apps in the Android App Marketplace now free, and Nexus One released today, cross platform adaptability will be crucial for media companies’ long term success. We wish them all the best and look forward to how they will evolve as one of the ad networks in our exchange."