The iOS app store will pass $20b annual runrate this year and yet app discovery is still terribly suboptimal. At first I thought it was merely product limitations that Apple would aggressively move to solve – better search, social discovery, improved ratings system. Then I claimed conspiracy theory – that Apple likes having editorial control and thus the ability to play kingmaker via the featured section. Now I’m thinking something else – something that Jobs might have rejected but could provide billions in high margin ad revenues to Apple: native advertising in the form of promoted apps.
What could it look like? Some promotional slots within the leaderboards, on search, on browse. A cost per install auction system. Makes a lot more sense to me than iAd.
Anyone have good reasons why Apple shouldn’t pursue this opportunity?