Apple appears to be reinvigorating its iAd platform in a bid to gain broader advertiser adoption. According to AdAge, “anyone with an Apple ID will be able to open an account with iAd Workbench, the company’s mobile-ad management tool.”
Apple hopes that opening up iAd will bring new categories of advertisers and boost interest in iAd overall. The collateral on the site indicates Apple’s ambition to make iAd more democratic:
Whether you’re an app developer or a filmmaker, a small business owner or an experienced advertiser, reaching the people most likely to be interested in your product is key. With insights from over a half-billion validated iTunes accounts and billions of transactions, nobody knows Apple customers like iAd.
When iAd was launched in 2010, following Apple’s nearly $300 million acquisition Quattro Wireless, Apple required million-dollar budget commitments that only made it accessible to Fortune 500 advertisers. Indeed iAd was supposed to combine the “emotion of TV” with the interactivity of digital advertising.
After an initial period of high interest, iAd started to languish. Apple seemed to be backing away from its advertising business. However more recently it has renewed its effort to make advertising a meaningful revenue stream. There are also reports that Apple is building an RTB-driven mobile ad exchange as well a focus on advertising for iTunes Radio.
While iAd can now be accessed by small advertisers a forthcoming full-screen video ad capability is designed to appeal to brand advertisers who increasingly see video as a key mobile advertising approach. As we previously reported, iAd was the first mobile ad network to be accredited by the Media Ratings Council, which means that advertisers are charged only for ads that are viewable and fully render on users’ iPad or iPhone screens.
Following a couple of years of relative neglect, iAd’s share of the mobile advertising market slipped into the low single digits. Apple is expected to have just 3.3 percent of the US mobile display market this year. By contrast, Google captures essentially half of all mobile ad spending globally.