tirsdag 13. april 2010

Apple keeps ad networks, analytics companies in suspense

Changes to the latest version of Apple’s legal agreement for developers of iPhone and iPad apps have two kinds of businesses in limbo: Ad networks and app analytics. So far, the company hasn’t broadcast a statement on whether or not the changed legalese is meant to ban targeted ad networks such as AdMob in favorr Apple’s own iAd system, and how analytics can and can’t be collected by companies like Flurry and Motally.
“The use of third party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited,” says section 3.3.9 of Apple’s developer agreement. That’s caused some developers to wonder if existing app analytics tools provided by Flurry, Motally, Distimo and others will be prohibited. Those companies, when contacted by VentureBeat, said they were waiting to hear from Apple on what the term “Device Data” explicitly means.
One app developer shared this email from Apple with me, on condition that I not disclose the source:
> We’ve reviewed your
> application and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone
> application to the App Store. It is not appropriate for applications to
> gather user analytics. Specifically, you may not collect anonymous play
> data from a user’s game. A screenshot of this issue has been attached for
> your reference.
> In order for your application to be reconsidered for the App Store, please
> resolve this issue and upload your new binary to iTunes Connect.
The developer is still waiting to discuss the issue with an Apple developer support representative.
Targeted ads
“The use of location-based User Data for enabling targeted advertising in an Application is prohibited unless targeted advertising is the purpose of such Application (e.g., a geo-location coupon application).” That’s Apple’s new wording, also in Section 3.3.9 of the developer agreement, that appears to ban targeted-ad networks such as AdMob.
I haven’t been able to get a response yet from AdMob or other iPhone ad targeting network (paul@venturebeat.com, folks), but Apple’s language seems hard to interpret as meaning anything other than “targeted ads belong to us.”
Steve Jobs has been pretty blunt about booting Adobe’s Flash from the iPhone / iPad platform, which was done via a change in Section 3.3.1 of the same document. Jobs, as he occasionally does, replied to a developer’s email over the weekend to say that “intermediate layers produce sub-standard apps.” If Apple kicks out other ad networks in favor of its own new iAd network, at this point it won’t be a surprise.
Tags: ipad, iPhone
Companies: AdMob, Apple, Flurry, Motally

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