opinion

Apple’s iAds Network Is in Decline

Stephen Yagielowicz

"The emotion of TV. The interactivity of digital. The power of mobility. With iAd, you can now reach the Apple audience in their favorite apps anytime, anywhere with unmatched impact and precision” — or so the company’s version of the story goes.

Launched early last year with much ballyhoo, Apple’s richly interactive iAds program may not be following its own storyline, as a growing number of app developers appear to be having difficulty with declining “fill rates” for iAds.

Apple’s iAd network seems to have a ways to go in terms of reach, revenue and traffic-building ability.

TechCrunch reports that anticipated seasonal fill rate declines have not yet enjoyed their typical post-holiday season rebound.

The fill rate is the percentage of advertising inventory that carries an actual paid advertisement, rather than a so-called “house ad” or other freebie.

TechCrunch reported an overall rate decline of six to 18 percent, with some apps having none of their slots filled — comparing the situation to other mobile ad networks running near 100 percent full.

One ad exec told the site that “The general consensus among the advertising community is that it is a product they don’t want.”

Issues over pricing (with a million dollar minimum spend for each campaign); placement (ads are filled exclusively at Apple’s discretion, where and when the company wants); and universality (the iAd format is only compatible with Apple devices, rather than the crossplatform appeal of other networks); all seem to be taking their toll.

Intended to make mobile advertising look and feel more in line with television advertising, Apple’s iAd network seems to have a ways to go in terms of reach, revenue and traffic-building ability.

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