Apple Opens Mobile-Ads Service to Automated PartnersBrian Womack and Tim Higgins
Apple Inc. is opening its advertising services to partners to help sell promotions more efficiently, aiming to fuel revenue growth at the struggling unit.
Apple, which first rolled out iAd in 2010, will enable automated ads, making it easier to manage and track ad performance, according to Adam Berke, president of AdRoll, a Web-advertising firm that’s a new Apple ad partner.
“Launching with a platform and a partner-driven ecosystem is a proven approach, but not one Apple has really embraced previously,” Berke said in an interview. “It gives us the opportunity to bring our 15,000 customers to the iAd platform. It does make a lot of sense for Apple, too -- they can immediately switch on a lot of scale.”
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has been making changes to how the Cupertino, California-based company courts marketers, seeking to catch up to Google Inc. in the mobile-ad market. IAd distributes promotions on iTunes Radio and programs sold in Apple’s App Store.
Automated, or programmatic, advertising is a key driver of the market for display ads, which includes graphic promotions that can run on smartphones or desktops. It’s projected to make up 63 percent of the U.S. industry in 2016, up from 24 percent last year, according to EMarketer Inc. Apple’s iAd feature is predicted to garner just 2.6 percent of the U.S. market this year, compared with 38 percent for Google, which holds the top spot, according to EMarketer.
AdRoll is one of seven companies chosen by Apple to deliver automated promotions to iAd’s more than 250,000 mobile developers. The Rubicon Project Inc. announced its partnership Nov. 19. The others include MediaMath Inc., The Trade Desk, GET IT Mobile Inc., Accordant Media LLC and Adelphic Inc., according to Apple.
“We’re talking about a company that really has a dominant position in the mobile world,” Berke said of Apple. “This is a direction that all industries are increasingly going, including media and advertising, this change in approach is really a sign of the times.”