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Chapter 9
In-Application Advertising
After reviewing Chapter 8 about mobile web advertising, it's time to jump in and understand how advertisers get their
advertisements into the budding world of applications. These applications can be anything from apps on a phone that
users download from an app store to apps on game consoles or smart TVs. I'll discuss the different environments per
device and OS and discuss use cases for all. I'll review software development kits (SDKs) and how they're involved in
serving ads as well as how ads can have much more feature-rich capabilities when served into an app than a mobile
web environment. I'll talk about SDK providers such as AdMarvel, Medialets, and Millennial Media, which provide
in-app advertising, and I'll focus on the IAB's solution and standard with the ORMMA and MRAID API.
Keep in mind while reviewing this chapter that SDKs and applications change. This chapter covers what to do
currently, but the information may change as SDK vendors and content owners update their SDKs or use other vendors to
traffic their ads.
Mobile Applications
Mobile applications are native applications that run on your mobile device. Think of them as applications like
Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop that run natively on your desktop computer but are on your phone or tablet
instead. Mobile applications are used instead of forcing a user to visit a URL in a browser; in addition, by offering an
application, the content owner has full control over their application because it lives outside the walls of the device's
browser. Application developers create these “apps” by using the low-level code that the operating system relies
on. In the case of Apple iOS, it is Objective-C, and for Android, it is Java. Developers with these skills can create a
very lucrative career for themselves developing applications for productivity, entertainment, or even gaming. The
market for applications is booming, to say the least, because in-application purchases accounted for $970 million in
sales in 2011. By 2015, that figure is anticipated to grow to $5.6 billion. Juniper Research reported in 2012 that in-app
advertising will hit $2.4 billion by the end of the year. By 2015, that figure will soar to $7.1 billion. These applications
get a lot of views because people can download them to their devices at any time for a very small fee, or even free.
This, of course, brings a lot of attention to the application market and how easy it is for users to grab them up.
There are close to a million different applications to choose from in the various app stores such as Apple's App
Store, Google's Play marketplace, and BlackBerry's App World; each app varies in function and price, all the way down
to free with the possibility of making in-application purchases. In the following sections, I'll cover some of the leading
application marketplaces.
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