Advertising in desktop software

22 Sep 2008 - 10:31am
6 years ago
4 replies
1737 reads
Matt Doe
2008

For a product we are redesigning, we are beginning to add advertising
to our desktop software. This will come in the form of contextually
relevant ads because of something the user searched for and they will
also be delivered on the homepage of our application. The ads on the
homepage will not necessarily be spam. They will be things that have
the potential to be relevant to our users, but in no way help users
reach their goals of why they are using this application.

My question is, you can have a page like Amazon.com. When I go to
their homepage without logging in, they just push items to users. The
chance of this item being related to what the user wants is pretty
slim...but for some reason, users put up with it. When I open up an
application like Quicktime, I am just spammed with content that I
could care less about. I know they are trying to this to drive revenue
to their iTunes store, but for some reason in a desktop application,
it feels more like spam than it does on the homepage of a website.

Has anyone had experience with integrating advertising in desktop
software, or know of any research of user attitudes towards ads in
desktop software vs web sites?

Thanks!

Comments

22 Sep 2008 - 5:41pm
Jarod Tang
2007

>
> My question is, you can have a page like Amazon.com. When I go to
> their homepage without logging in, they just push items to users. The
> chance of this item being related to what the user wants is pretty
> slim...but for some reason, users put up with it. When I open up an
> application like Quicktime, I am just spammed with content that I
> could care less about. I know they are trying to this to drive revenue
> to their iTunes store, but for some reason in a desktop application,
> it feels more like spam than it does on the homepage of a website.
>
> Has anyone had experience with integrating advertising in desktop
> software, or know of any research of user attitudes towards ads in
> desktop software vs web sites?

QuickTime is annoying, but iTurns is welcomed by many, and it's a
desktop with it's advertising ( if we take the recommend content as
the ad).

Cheers,
-- Jarod

--
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

23 Sep 2008 - 12:17pm
kimbieler
2007

Matt,

Maybe a good analogy is advertising on TV versus advertising at the
movies. Broadcast TV is free (sort of), so you expect to see ads. Plus
you can change the channel or turn off the sound if you don't like the
ads.

But if I've just paid $10 to see a movie, I feel heartily abused when
I'm forced to sit through advertising. Not only have I paid for the
privilege, but I can't turn them off or change the channel -- I'm a
captive audience.

Amazon is a retail store, so I expect them to be pushing merchandise
at me. Similarly iTunes. But a desktop application is usually
something I'm paying to use. Even if it's free, like Quicktime, it's a
linear, captive experience. I'd say the worst of all is when I feel
like the vendor is deliberately slowing down the experience so that
they can stuff more ads in. Like when I'm on hold with my credit card
company.

This is all purely anecdotal, of course. But my guess is that the
perception of choice plays a large part in how consumers feel about
ads. That, and perceived value.

On Sep 22, 2008, at 12:31 PM, Matt Doe wrote:

> For a product we are redesigning, we are beginning to add advertising
> to our desktop software. This will come in the form of contextually
> relevant ads because of something the user searched for and they will
> also be delivered on the homepage of our application. The ads on the
> homepage will not necessarily be spam. They will be things that have
> the potential to be relevant to our users, but in no way help users
> reach their goals of why they are using this application.
>
> My question is, you can have a page like Amazon.com. When I go to
> their homepage without logging in, they just push items to users. The
> chance of this item being related to what the user wants is pretty
> slim...but for some reason, users put up with it. When I open up an
> application like Quicktime, I am just spammed with content that I
> could care less about. I know they are trying to this to drive revenue
> to their iTunes store, but for some reason in a desktop application,
> it feels more like spam than it does on the homepage of a website.
>
> Has anyone had experience with integrating advertising in desktop
> software, or know of any research of user attitudes towards ads in
> desktop software vs web sites?
>
> Thanks!
> ________________________________________________________________
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-- Kim

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Kim Bieler Graphic Design
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24 Sep 2008 - 8:50am
Anonymous

There's advertising in Microsoft Office Accounting (the free
version). I don't know what (if any) research they either did or
published on that.

As a user of the application, do I find it intrusive? Yes. Do I
accept it? Yes, because I'm getting something that I would normally
expect to have to pay for for free.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33330

24 Sep 2008 - 11:28pm
martinpolley
2007

It also depends on what the competition is doing. If there was another free
accounting app with similar capabilities but that did not contain
advertising, would MS still put ads in their app?

An example: Opera used to make two versions of their browser -- a paid
version without ads and a free version with ads. Look what they're doing
now. (Only a free version, no ads.)

Cheers,
--
Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Chris Collingridge <
ccollingridge at googlemail.com> wrote:

> There's advertising in Microsoft Office Accounting (the free
> version). I don't know what (if any) research they either did or
> published on that.
>
> As a user of the application, do I find it intrusive? Yes. Do I
> accept it? Yes, because I'm getting something that I would normally
> expect to have to pay for for free.
>
>

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