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Ad network offers promise of revenue for free App Store apps

Chris Ziegler

Just because you're scooping up a free app or three on Apple's App Store doesn't mean that the developers behind them need to starve. Medialets, a nascent start-up specifically targeting iPhone devs, offers cookie-cutter code that can be inserted into apps to add an advertisement here and there -- mildly annoying, possibly, but if it means we get charged a big ol' goose egg when we download the goods, it might just be worth the tradeoff. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the enterprise is that Apple's apparently cool with it; the App Store distributes free apps without charging the developer a dime, after all, presumably under the assumption that the entire ordeal is not-for-profit, but that assumption gets turned on its head when Medialets comes into play and cuts Apple clean out of the revenue share. Ultimately, we wouldn't mind seeing two versions of each app offered: one at full price, and a second ad-supported version at a reduced price or free. How's that for thinking outside the box?

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