“I’m a parent as well and there’s a lot of fatigue with apps that use in-app purchases in the freemium model, which is a good model, but when you do it on kids’ apps, there’s the problem of putting things in front of kids that they have to buy,” said Graham Farrar, creator of the iStoryTimeapp. “So we’ve given parents the ability to earn free content supported by advertisers, but in a way that the kids are never exposed to any advertising.”
The app uses a parental gate that requires users to enter a random set of words to enter the store. A separate password allows an in-app purchase. For now, users only have the option of buying books on the app. The ad integration will be included in an updated version of the app, which will come out shortly, according to Tapjoy.
In terms of targeting, the iStoryTime app does not collect data about its users or target its ads, according to Farrar. Collecting analytics or tracking information is “beside the point for us,” Farrar said. “We’re letting parents choose the ads they want to engage with and we just need to know how many points they’re earning.”
While it is not foolproof — it is not impossible for a child at an elementary reading level to pass through the store’s gate, especially on a reading app — creating a separate section for advertising offers more possibilities for advertisers on children’s apps.
“Advertisers would rather reach parents since they’re the ones who hold the purse strings,” said Rob Barnett, head of publisher development at Tapjoy. “What’s even better is that the parents can self-select the ads they’ll watch, which gives advertisers an audience that is more likely to be interested in what they have to say.”