Apple's latest failure: advertising

Apple’s latest failure: advertising


Apple just isn't cut out for the business.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s six-year dabble into the world of advertising has come to an end. The company is reportedly surrendering its iAd program over entirely to publishers. That means publishers will get full control over the creation of ads, ad management and selling them. Apple apparently just doesn’t want anything to do with the ad business anymore.

“It’s just not something we’re good at,” an anonymous source from Apple told BuzzFeed. Multiple sources confirmed that the news is true — Apple wants out.

iAd itself isn’t disappearing, it will just act as the platform for publishers to get their mobile ads out directly. As a result, publishers will keep 100 percent of the revenue for the first time. Up until now, Apple took a 30 percent cut.

Part of the reason for the change is likely because iAd was never hugely successful in the first place. It launched in 2010 with the intent of improving the advertising experience on iOS for both publishers and consumers alike, but for whatever reason never blossomed the way Steve Jobs suggested it might. Just four years later, CEO Tim Cook was already able to publicly admit that iAd was an extremely small contribution to Apple’s entire business. With iAd only capturing 5.1 percent of mobile advertising market share in 2015, he probably wasn’t wrong.

“This has been a long time coming,” a different source said. “Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner — it should have.”

The change, which eliminates Apple’s current control in iAd, will reportedly shift into gear as soon as next week.


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