BMW, Target, Fandango, The New York Times and Expedia are among the 40 brands advertising on the Apple Watch, which launches today. Many consumers who pre-ordered the watches will have them on their wrists today, MacRumors reports on Thursday. That could mean by June, more than 2 million users may have access to, for instance, the app from Starwood Hotels and Resorts that allows guests to check-in remotely and unlock their rooms, reports Adweek on Monday.
"It can also ping travelers with information, like the cost of a taxi to a hotel," the article says.
Quoting a Piper Jaffray analyst's prediction of more than 2 million buyers by June, Reuters says on Wednesday that Apple CEO Tim Cook's "first new product" could result in shopper confusion today at Apple Stores—which won't have the watches. Apple based sales on pre-orders for this product, Reuters reports.
"In fact, the only watches on sale on Friday will be at a handful of upscale boutiques and department stores that Apple courted to help position the watch as a fashion item," Reuters says.
On Thursday, Apple's home page features the watch in the lower middle portion of the page, with a headline of "The Watch is coming" resulting on the landing page. Instead, Apple reserved the majority of its home page to tout its environmental efforts.
Despite the lack of fanfare, Reuters quotes an analyst from FBR Capital Markets who says 20 million watches will sell in 2015.
Adweek says this is how some marketers are monetizing apps or content marketing on the watch:
- Target is using the watch's voice and location technology to allow app users to make shopping lists and is helping them find the products in the stores;
- Pandora is showing ads, in addition to playing personalized music. "Everything in Pandora's Apple Watch app is synched with its iPhone version, including ads," according to Adweek. "Creative for audio promos will pop up on the smartwatch screen as they play between songs."
- American Airlines gives watch-owners access to day-of-travel items, such as the ability to check in, digital boarding passes, gate changes, gate location guidance and seat assignments. (Example image is in the media player.);
- Expedia similarly allows hotel check-ins, car rental drop-offs and provides flight delay notifications;
- The Fandango app gives users visual countdowns to movie showtimes;
- ESPN shows game scores;
- eBay provides product buyers and sellers with bid updates; and
- Citi displays the wearer's financial information. "The watch app primarily shows credit card, checking and savings balances and also can ping you when a credit card is used," Adweek says.
Bonus: On Tuesday, San Francisco-based mobile marketing automation provider Swrve announced it will support marketers with Apple Watch push notifications and "real-time segmentation, targeting, automation, A/B testing and rich analytics ... [The Swrve] open platform also allows a customer to trigger actions through Swrve with an Apple Watch Notification by a third party marketing automation, email service provider, CRM system, data and analytics system or transactional system."