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Apple iAd Update Will Reportedly Let Publishers Sell Directly To Advertisers
Apple will get out of the direct ad sales business, and the iAd sales team will disband.
Apple’s attempt to improve the mobile in-app ad experience with the launch of iAd never made the splash the company had anticipated. Advertisers balked at sky-high rates, executing ads was far from simple, and Apple was tight-fisted with its data. All that has added up to years of low market share.
According to a report from Buzzfeed, Apple is moving away from its original hands-on approach and shifting to a system in which publishers can sell directly to advertisers. The company is said to be planning to dismantle the iAd ad sales team, possibly within a week. The company declined to comment.
In November 2014, Apple partnered with a number of major ad tech firms such as MediaMath, The Trade Desk and Rubicon Project and released an API to bring programmatic buying to the iAd platform. While it appeared that opening up to programmatic buying, coupled with the move in April of that year to make iAd available to all app publishers with an Apple ID, would have set the stage for accelerated growth, iAd still never took off as Apple originally had hoped.
Buzzfeed reports that Apple is updating the iAd platform to enable publishers to sell directly to buyers without having to go through an ad tech middleman or iAd’s sales team. What the update means for Apple’s programmatic partners remains to be seen.
In 2015, iAd mobile display ad revenue came in well behind that of Facebook, Google or Twitter, according to eMarketer.
Even after Apple’s revived interest in iAd last year, Apple’s retreat from direct ad sales is likely to come as little surprise to most who have watched the network struggle to gain traction.