NEWS15 April 2010

Medialets boss warns of danger posed by analytics ban to iPhone ad economy

Data analytics North America

US— A leading player in the burgeoning mobile app analytics space has warned Apple it risks hamstringing the mobile advertising economy on iPhone if changes to its app developer agreement outlawing the collection of device usage data are allowed to stand.

Medialets CEO Eric Litman – whose company runs the Medialytics service for app developers and advertisers – says “the industry needs clarity from Apple” about the intent of the rule change and whether the company really is set on preventing advertisers and developers from collecting data on how their ads and apps are consumed.

“The digital ad ecosystem relies on third-party tracking – without it there is no digital ad ecosystem,” said Litman.

In an interview with Research Litman seemed confident a resolution would be reached. “There is just no way this is going to stick,” he said.

Litman believes the lack of third-party analytics is likely to be a major bone of contention for the big media publishers who have developed their own apps, through which they sell their own ad inventory – but may struggle to continue doing so without supporting data.

It could also prove unpalatable to advertisers looking to participate in Apple’s recently-announced iAd platform. Though there’s the possibility Apple will offer its own analytics in place of the third-party option, it seems unlikely to win over advertisers schooled in the importance of obtaining independent verification about the performance of their media buys.