Apparently $14.99 buys you more than the ability to follow your favorite MLB teams on your iPad while away from home. It also buys you… ads? Yes, ads. MLB.com’s At Bat 2010 for iPad just started displaying ads on the app’s splash page and within the live game simulation page.
According to TUAW, the ads only started appearing within the last couple of days. Having not witnessed them myself — even though I swear I just used the app — I decided to fire At Bat for iPad 2010 up this morning and sure enough, a giant Prudential ad appeared right on the splash screen. Also, when viewing the live game simulation, two more Prudential ads are firmly placed on the digital right and left field walls. These wall ads, unlike the initial splash screen ad, are actually tappable, which brings up a pop-up asking you if you want to leave the app to view Prudential’s website in Safari.
Now, this isn’t the first time a paid app has sported ads. Most notably, CNN’s CNN App for iPhone was able to get away with it without too much of a fuss. But I think the biggest difference here is that At Bat 2010 for iPad costs $14.99, not $1.99.
To be fair, the ads are fairly unobtrusive, but it just seems ridiculous that a business that makes billions of dollars off of its fans in a variety of other ways would have to stoop to this level.
But what do you think? Is it inappropriate for a developer to slip ads into a paid app without any warning, or is it just the breaks of the game and something you can deal with?