Apple’s iAd inventory will be available programmatically through open exchanges.
Rubicon Project is one of “several advertising technology companies” that will be selling the inventory, according to a press release. MediaMath is among the other partners, according to an AdExchanger source.
iAd hasn’t been a star for Apple so far. "This partnership means that Apple is conceding that its current advertising strategy – going against market trends using a premium model targeting high spenders – has not worked," said Sigal Bareket, CEO and co-founder of Taptica.
iAds' market share of 2.6%, while substantial enough to place it in the top ten, pales in comparison to the market leaders. Google has 37.7% of US mobile Internet ad revenue and Facebook has 14.7%, according to figures from eMarketer.
“iAd has been a neglected asset,” said Dan Laughlin, VP of business development at HyprMX. “But with the right attention, it can become a significant player given its inherent distribution advantage and its ability to profile users based on their app usage."
iAd has more than 400 targeting options for advertisers. Its audience is also validated, since users must create an iTunes account in order to download apps. With the release of iOS 8, Apple announced that those Apple IDs could be used by iAds advertisers to retarget users across their devices. Those capabilities make it a good fit for advertisers doing audience-based targeting, who often prefer transacting in programmatic channels.
iAd has scale: "Apple iAd’s sell-side SDK is one of the most penetrated SDKs in the industry," said Michael Oiknine, CEO of Apsalar. "They now have added iTunes radio inventory, so it’s a smart yield maximization strategy for Apple and is akin to Facebook strategy, which maximizes inventory sales via FBX and PMDs."
Selling programmatically will fix iAds biggest mistake, which was selling its huge network of thousands of apps for premium prices. That didn't make sense to many media buyers, who passed on inventory they could get cheaper elsewhere.
"There was no real premium inventory offering to justify the pricing model," said Eric Bosco, CEO of ChoiceStream. "Advertisers are savvy enough to know that in mobile they can get more competitive rates via other providers to appear on the very same apps that Apple was selling."
“The network model is outdated,” said Julie Preis, SVP of product management at PulsePoint. “Partnering with someone like Rubicon gets [iAd] access to the ecosystem of automated buyers.” Read the rest of this entry »