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Apple Apps Rival Prime Time TV Reach

Through iOS devices, advertisers can reach more people than many popular TV shows.
As if to underscore how far Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 has to go before it can match the popularity of Apple's iPhone, mobile analytics firm Flurry on Monday revealed that social gaming apps on the iPhone have garnered an audience that rivals popular shows on broadcast television.
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Social games on iOS devices draw a daily audience of more than 19 million users -- viewers in TV parlance -- who spend over 22 minutes per day using their apps, Flurry marketing VP Peter Farago said in a blog post.

"Treated as a consumer audience, its size and reach rank somewhere between NBC’s Sunday Night Football and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and only 4 million viewers shy from beating the number one prime-time show on television, FOX’s American Idol," he wrote.

Noting that app viewing occurs every day throughout the year, in contrast to the typical 22 episode season of leading TV shows, Farago argues that iOS advertisers can reach a larger audience than most TV shows, with greater frequency.

That's good news for Apple, which launched its own mobile advertising service, iAd, for iOS devices in July.

Research firm IDC is predicting that Apple's share of the mobile advertising market will reach 21% by the end of the year, matching Google's mobile advertising market share through its AdMob service.

However, Apple may have to moderate its desire to control the iOS user experience if it wants to take advantage of its advertising opportunity. A recent Business Insider report claims that athletic footwear giant Adidas cancelled a $10 million iAd campaign because Apple thrice refused to approve its ad campaign. Other reports have also noted that Apple's strict iAd policies have caused friction with advertising clients.

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