From Techcrunch comes the scoop that Apple has sent out an email offering a special VIP program to developers working with recently acquired Quattro wireless.
This Verification of iTunes Purchase (ViP) program is for iPhone app devs who use ads to drive downloads and purchases of their own apps. It ties the ad directly to purchasing data from iTunes, letting app developers measure the conversion rate of ad impressions to downloads. Tracking is made possible via a proprietary direct link from the ad to the App Store. Once a user downloads the app, they won‚Äôt see the ad again.
Other mobile ad networks, such as AdMob, also try to measure conversion rates, but they don‚Äôt have access to the same iTunes data. So, Apple is able to give its clients much more detailed and accurate information.
AdMob requires developers to integrate their apps with AdMob‚Äôs SDK or APIs before they can deliver conversion tracking. The Quattro sales rep ends the email with this pitch:
No SDK or server-side integration‚Äîthis cannot be duplicated by any of our competitors.
The short of it is, if Apple doesn‚Äôt shut everyone else out of the iPhone by not allowing app developers to send tracking data to third parties, it might simply use its control of the platform to give advantage to its own products.
It‚Äôs especially interesting given the FTC‚Äôs interest in various cases from Apple/Adobe to the Google/AdMob deal. It‚Äôs a mess and doesn‚Äôt look like it‚Äôs likely to be settled soon.
image from techcrunch