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.
“What you don’t know won’t hurt you” is a common phrase that unfortunately does not apply to the apps on your phone. It turns out that thousands of apps on Android and iOS secretly have ads in them that you can’t see, and they very well might be what’s causing a number of problems that plague smartphones today.
Lead by the iPad, tablets, and other non-phone devices accounted for 20% of mobile ads during the first quarter of 2012. That number is up 5% from the first quarter of last year. The increase reflects a change in the mix of mobile devices that people use to consume content and may have implications for the entire ad industry – mobile and otherwise.
It’s pretty clear that digital distribution is going to play a large role in the future of magazines and newspapers. That doesn’t mean, however, that print editions are going away any time soon. For the foreseeable future, we’re likely to see print/digital hybrids while consumers and publishers test the waters of both digital products and distribution channels.
The road to digital hasn’t been a smooth ride for many publications. Part of the reason is the lack of resources being devoted to creating engaging and immersive digital content that doesn’t feel as if you’re simply reading a PDF of the print edition.
One big area where publisher are still failing is advertising – despite excellent interactive ad systems like Apple iAd, publishers are still stuck in a print mentality when it comes to ads. In fact, according to a new study, publications often simply toss the exact same print-formatted ads into digital editions that run in their print counterparts.
Apple’s iAd hasn’t received much in the way of attention since it’s announcement as part of iOS 4 almost two years ago. The platform was designed as a way for advertisers to create powerful interactive mobile ads and to make it easy for app developers to integrate those ads into their products. Of course, it was also intended to help Apple take a big slice of mobile ad spending.
Despite a big introduction in 2010, iAd quickly fell off almost everyone’s radar. Apple initially set a high barrier of entry by requiring iAd campaigns to commit $1 million. The company later cut that in half and this week lowered the required initial investment to $100,000 – one tenth of its original requirement – something that speaks volumes about the company’s mojo when it comes to selling ads.
Just under 18 months after its launch, Apple is set to make more changes to its iAd mobile advertising service in a bid to attract more customers. The Cupertino company is hoping to claw back some of the ground it’s quickly losing to Google’s AdMob service by reducing the initial buy-in to iAd, and changing the way in which advertisers pay.