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Apple using iTunes info to target advertising

Apple using iTunes info to target advertising

When it launches iAd, Apple will take advantage of its huge store of data collected from the 150 million iTunes users to direct advertising to those who will be interested in particular promotions.

"Apple knows what you've downloaded, how much time you spend interacting with applications and knows even what you've downloaded, don't like and deleted," said iCrossing's Rachel Pasqua.

Advertisers will be given the chance to directly pinpoint the audience that will be most receptive to their campaigns. As such, if you download a sports app or a game for your kids, it is likely that you will be presented with ads which fit into your lifestyle and hobbies the next time you boot up such apps.

Apple is not going to provide private information to third party advertisers as part of this deal, but is rather going to categorise its apps into suitable demographic groups which firms can then harness based upon the retail history of the average user.

Experts predict that the mobile advertising market will be worth over a billion pounds within three years and iAd is vying to become the number one contender in this expanding industry.

Although Apple has been focusing on the benefits of iAd for the app developers, who it says will be able to make their apps cheaper or free thanks to advertising support, it is clear that taking a share in this success will be good for the manufacturer itself.

Apple's Steve Jobs has said that the firm is aiming to display a billion in-app adverts every 24 hours once iAd is established, with Apple netting 40 per cent of the revenue generated by each and every one.

Apple has maintained that it does not make any money from iTunes and the App Store, although it is likely that with iAd this could become a serious profit-making machine, according to Bloomberg Business Week.

The iAd platform is not being greeted with open arms by all, as related alterations to the Developer Program Licence Agreement have brought criticism upon Apple for restrictions which make it impossible for app developers to pass on audience information to Apple's rivals, such as the Google-owned AdMob.

"Let's be clear. This change is not in the best interests of users or developers," said AdMob's Omar Hamoui.

Things have become so serious that the Federal Trade Commission in the US is considering whether or not to launch an investigation into iAd.

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