Apple is beefing up its iAd network for iTunes Radio by making it easy for advertisers to target certain customers. Like iAds for apps, advertisers can also buy their own audio ads without having to go through Apple’s sales team.
The change seems geared towards making advertising on iTunes Radio a more attractive opportunity, especially now that brands can use Customer Match, Apple’s ad-targeting system.
Apple is starting to crack down on apps that request a user’s unique advertising identifier, but not actually show any ads within the app… and Apple may be doing it to put its own iAd network on better competitive footing.
A new Apple patent application published today relates to iAd technology that will allow Apple to target users with specific content based on a person’s predicted mood, their likely interest level, other content they are currently interacting with, their current geographic location, and the time of day.
In some applications, mood would be gauged using a camera which, equipped with facial recognition algorithms, would be able to measure specific expressions.
Apple has restructured its growing iAd division to focus heavily on selling spots for iTunes Radio, according to a report from AdAge. To help sell individual ads to more potential buyers, the company is also reportedly building a real-time bidding exchange for in-app iAds.
At a recent staff meeting, Apple’s Eddy Cue reportedly communicated that iTunes Radio was the “top priority” for selling iAds. “The message that came across was basically if you’re not working on iTunes Radio, you’re irrelevant,” according to an AdAge source. Apple makes 90% of the revenue off its audio ads and only has to give 10% to advertisers. The company recently hired a top-level radio exec from Cumulus Media to help negotiate big deals.
Before iTunes Radio, iAds were only designed for developers to put in iOS apps, but they never really took off. Apple charged a steep premium and was highly selective in selecting ad partners initially, but this recent report suggests that the focus is being shifted to cheaper ads that can be bought individually. The real-time bidding system would work similarly to the stock exchange. In-app iAds could not only become more affordable, but more specifically targeted at users.