iAd slots in iOS applications designed for children will no longer be filled with adverts, according to an email one developer has received from Apple.
Mike Zornek, the developer of the Dex a Pokemon browser application for iPhone and iPod touch, noticed that his iAd fill rates had dropped and emailed Apple’s iAd Support Team for an explanation:
Last Thursday I had a particularly awful iAd fill rate of 5%. This isn’t new, I’ve had problems before. Then on Friday a 0% fill rate, then on Saturday another 0% fill rate. I emailed Apple and posted a question to the company’s developer forums. Today I finally got a reply:
We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers. Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience.
We appreciate your understanding.
While Zornek appreciates that Apple has the rights to control the iAd platform, he explains on his blog that it would have been nice to have received notification of the changes prior to noticing the drop in iAd fill rates.
When it first launched, the iAd service was critisized by companies and advertising agencies due to Apple’s strict design requirements that meant some adverts were rejected numerous times. The service also required a whopping minimum buy-in rate of $1 million, and low fill rates when compared to Google’s AdMob.
To try and save the service, Apple recently reduced the minimum buy-in to $500,000; launched an iAd design tool for the Mac; and rolled out interactive, full-screen adverts on the iPad. It also released an iAd Gallery App that allows users to view iAds until their heart’s content.
While iAds certainly look pretty and are without question far more appealing that regular mobile advertisements, Apple’s tight control seems to have disgruntled iOS developers once again.