Full-screen video ads that launch automatically on iPhones and iPads will soon be a reality. According to a report in AdAge, Apple will debut the TV-like video ads through its mobile ad network iAds at some point this year.
The ads would mark Apple’s entry into the heated race to lure brand TV budgets online by giving advertisers compelling ways to re-purpose their already-produced TV ads for digital. Giving brands the ability to reach users with full-view in-app video ads on their iOS devices could prove very appealing to brands.
Rather than expanding after being clicked on or hovered over, the new video ads would launch automatically in full-screen view. The assumption is the ads won’t pop-up in the middle of a user experience in an app, but will be placed more like typical pre-roll or post-roll units.
Whether Apple will sell the ads directly or via an ad exchange auction is also unknown. According to the report, one source said Apple had quietly rolled out an ad exchange within the past couple of weeks. Apple has not commented. Rumors about the exchange began floating last December.
Last March, iAd became the first mobile ad network to be accredited by the Media Ratings Council — certifying that the network serves ads that are viewable to users and that advertisers are charged only for ads that fully render on users’ iPad or iPhone screens. The stamp of approval seems to have done little to fuel ad sales interest in Apple’s in-app banner ads, however.
In the spring of 2013 eMarketer, had projected that iAD would hold onto 6 percent of the U.S. mobile ad market for the year and increase its share to 8 percent in 2015. Those estimates were revised sharply in August 2013, with iAD expected to have just 3 percent of the mobile ad market in the and show incremental growth to just 3.8 percent in 2015. Google’s mobile ad network AdMob and Facebook lead the market.
To build share, Apple’s sales team may focus on enticing brands and agencies with premium ad experiences on iAd and iTunes Radio, while standard in-app banner ads are automated through the exchange. Pepsi, McDonald’s, Macy’s and Proctor & Gamble were among iTunes Radio’s launch advertisers.