Could make iTunes more appealing to marketers
Apple is planning several changes to improve the success of iTunes Radio, according to ad buyers reached by The Information. The first is the addition locally-targeted ads, something reportedly happening later this year. The company may also begin promoting iTunes with "house ads" on its iAd network.
Producer projects can be uploaded to Workbench
Apple has updated iAd Producer, the tool used to create ads for the iAd network. Version 4.2 lets advertisers generate fullscreen iPhone banners for the first time, and also upload projects to iAd Workbench, the tool used to start and manage campaigns. Other improvements are minor; the only one detailed, in fact, is the ability to reorganize folders in the Assets sidebar.
Sighting adds to rumors that Apple plans multi-country but slow rollout
Fueling speculation that Apple may be planning to expand iTunes Radio to selected countries in the near future, tweets on Twitter have revealed that Apple's director of iAd services, Paul Wright, has been making the rounds of London media marketing and ad agencies where he is based. This follows claims by online radio service Bloom, which would be a competitor to iTunes Radio in the UK, that it was rebuffed from advertising on iAd, and a report of iTunes Radio briefly functioning in Ecuador.
Apple says move in keeping with official policies
UK-based streaming service Bloom.fm has been banned from advertising on Apple's iAd network due to it being competition with iTunes Radio, according to Bloom PR representatives. Until recently, Bloom was spending Â£2,000 per month on iAd spots. In rejecting the advertising, Apple is quoted as telling Bloom that it constituted "a competitive service to iTunes Radio and it is against Apple policy."
New spots can direct people to websites, iTunes content
Apple has today significantly opened up iAd Workbench, the tool used to submit and manage iAd campaigns. Ad Age notes that Workbench is now accessible to anyone with an Apple ID, where previously accounts were restricted to registered app developers. That should expose iAd to a more Google-like advertising base, in which anyone can participate; when it was originally introduced in 2010, iAd was targeted exclusively at major corporations able to afford the then-minimum buy-in of $1 million. New ad buyers can choose to operate on a cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impressions basis.
Tech could be rolled into iAd
Apple-owned Burstly has started sending out notices to customers of its SkyRocket monetization service, saying the product's publishing and SDK license agreements will end in 90 days. SkyRocket is meant to simplify advertising for developers by hooking apps into multiple ad partners, reward systems, cross-promotions, and demographic targeting. The company isn't saying why it's terminating licenses, but the reason is believed to be connected to Apple's general policy towards acquisitions, which is to shut off services to outside parties.
Remote gains Apple TV upgrades
(Updated with Logic Remote news) In the wake of iOS 7.1 and Apple TV 6.1, Apple has released updates to Remote, Podcasts, and GarageBand for iOS, as well as Xcode and iAd Producer for desktops. While the Podcasts and GarageBand updates merely include bugfixes, Remote can now control iTunes Radio on an Apple TV. Apple TV owners have also gained the ability to browse purchased video through the app.
Breaks down another distinction of iAd
Beginning sometime this year, companies advertising via iAd will be able to use fullscreen, auto-playing interstitial video ads on the iPhone/iPod touch as well as the iPad, according to Advertising Age sources. At the moment, a person has to tap an iAd banner to get a video to play. As interstitials the videos will likely play after certain in-app actions have finished, such as reading an article or finishing a game level.
Apple allegedly missing out on sales
Apple is losing out on iAd sales because the company is too "slow, cocky and downright stingy," a new Advertising Age report suggests. The assertion is attributed to Madison Avenue media buyers. One person -- GroupM's chief innovation officer, Cary Tilds -- comments that Apple doesn't have a large sales team for iAd. An anonymous executive notes that Apple doesn't even have sales targets, which may reflect the low priority iAd has.
Lets developers create their own banners, offers more targets and stats
Apple's iAd Workbench, which debuted this past June, allows developers a simple way to promote their own apps through iAd with campaigns starting at just $50, and giving them tools to better target potential buyers and find out how effective the advertising is. The program, part of the developer portal iTunes Connect, has now been expanded to countries outside the US. The tool is now available in nine additional countries.
Deal to last at least through 2013
Nissan has signed a deal with Apple to be an exclusive automotive advertiser on iTunes Radio, according to an official announcement by the carmaker. The exclusivity will hold through the end of 2013. The company adds that it plans to treat iTunes Radio as a priority platform for advertising new vehicles, beginning with the latest Rogue, Leaf, and Versa Note models. Some form of agreement was rumored prior to iTunes Radio's September launch.
Some hires meant to help outside parties produce more effective ads
Apple has been searching for dozens of new people to boost its iAd team in preparation for iTunes Radio, according to Ad Age. The publication notes that in August, Apple posted just five iAd jobs on its own website, but another 35 on LinkedIn. The company is hunting for people such as account coordinators, ad design managers, and project managers and engineers.
Allows app developers to spend as little as $50 on iAd campaigns
Apple has added a new section to its iTunes Connect developer portal, iAd Workbench. The tool lets app developers promoting their titles via iAd to exercise more control over ads and campaign budgets. The minimum spend for such campaigns is now just $50, and developers can ask to pay on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis. Apple provides estimates for the reach of a given campaign, including statistics for impressions, taps, and downloads.
Apple making connections with bigger advertisers
Apple is indeed planning to launch a streaming music service at WWDC next week, and carry audio ads on it, according to new sources. One of the people tells Reuters that Apple has contacted some of its bigger advertisers, but hasn't started selling the service extensively. The sources also back reports that the service - often nicknamed iRadio -- will resemble Pandora in its revenue scheme, and feature both audio and banner ads, sold through iAd.
Advertising deals to be handled via iAd network
Apple is planning to sell both audio and banner ads for its upcoming streaming music service, often nicknamed iRadio, claims Ad Age. The information is said to come from a former Apple executive familiar with the situation. Ad sales will reportedly stem through iAd, which so far has concentrated only on interactive banner ads in iOS apps. It's thought that iRadio could be announced at WWDC, which starts June 10th.
Could be situated within iAd
Apple is planning to launch an ad exchange, a Business Insider source claims. The person is described as "an executive who is one of the biggest players in online advertising." Business Insider cautions, though, that it can't confirm the plans, and that two other sources say they haven't heard anything about an exchange.
MRC 'favorably impressed' by metrics available to advertisers
The Media Ratings Council has awarded full accreditation to Apple's iAd, the first mobile ad platform to achieve that status, says Advertising Age. The accreditation reflects iAd's compliance with standards set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association. That includes accurate reporting of data such as taps, visits, views, impressions, conversations, and average time spent.
iAd network still coming in below expectations
Apple has hired Paul Wright -- formerly chief digital officer for the Omnicom Media Group -- as its new head of iAd operations for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, writes The Drum. Wright was with OMG for roughly a year. He has also worked for firms such as British broadcast/telecommunications firm BSkyB, where he handled various business development and sales tasks, and at Mobile Interactive Group, where he served on the Advisory Board.
Land Rover claims more engagement with iOS
Apple has posted a new case study, featuring Land Rover, in order to promote its iAd network to advertisers. The business-to-business marketing refers to the case of Range Rover Evoque, for which Land Rover is said to have wanted to "engage an all-new audience." The team at iAd "identified the perfect target and worked with Mindshare and Y&R Group to bring the Land Rover experience to them [the audience] in an innovative way," according to Apple's website. The company is particularly proud of the amount of time people spend with iAd spots.
Firm at work on gesture-based command system for Macs
Andy Miller, the former head of Apple's iAd division, has now taken a job as the president and COO of Leap Motion, Fortune says. Miller actually left Apple last August, becoming a general partner at a firm called Highland Capital Partners. The move to Leap Motion will bring him back into the Mac world, since Leap is currently developing a gesture-based control system for Macs, similar in concept to Microsoft's Kinect technology.
Mike Owen headed to video ad network AdColony
Yet another iAd executive has departed Apple. Mike Owen, senior manager of the iAd New York office, is leaving. He is headed to mobile video advertising network AdColony as its chief revenue officer. The iAd service has now seen three key departures in less than a year. Former head Andy Miller left last year for Highland Capital and was replaced by Todd Teresi. Lars Albright, iAd co-creator and former Quattro founder, left to form SessionM, a mobile advertising startup.
Jensen had focused on women, lifestyle projects
A senior Yahoo executive who had been in charge of its Shine site for women's issues, health and lifestyle content has left the company to take a position at Apple's iAd mobile advertising division, AllThingsD is reporting. Jessica Jensen was the public face of Yahoo's efforts to beef up its own content away from sports, finances and celebrity news. Jensen originally came to Yahoo three years ago through her own site LowImpactLiving.com.
Speed tweaks, new iPad support, more
Apple's iAd Producer has been quietly updated to version 2.1, which addresses a number of minor improvements such as support for the latest iPad and faster loading, saving and exporting of projects. The marquee feature, however, is iAd integration with Twitter -- allowing iAd designers to integrate Twitter directly into the ad. Also integrated into v2.1 is the use of WebGL assets in iAd content, and an expansion of types of assets that are allowed.
Samsung AdHub goes to mobile
Samsung decided to take its own leap into mobile advertising on Tuesday with plans for its own mobile ad exchange. The AdHub Market outlined to MarketWatch would let advertisers buy space either from app developers or Samsung itself to put them on apps across the Korean company's platform. The OpenX-powered service would be active in the second half of the year.
Company struggling to make iAd relevant
As previously expected, Apple has announced an increase in iAd developer payouts from 60 to 70 percent. The change took effect April 1st, and was signaled by a memo sent to developers over the weekend. The iAd pay ratio is now equivalent to the App Store, where Apple claims a 30 percent cut of revenue.
Share of mobile ad revenue slips to 15 percent
In a sign that softening mobile ad budgets and strong competition from Google and other ad agencies has hurt its high-end intentions, Apple's iAd program has cut the minimum amount it charges advertisers to run a campaign on iAd from its original price of $1 million to just $100,000, and is increasing the percentage of ad revenues developers will receive to 70 percent from the previous 60 percent. The company is also making other competitive adjustments.
Apple co-founder may have been too involved
Apple's iAd network may actually be in a position to improve without Steve Jobs as company CEO, according to a Business Insider source described as "familiar with the situation." The person says that Jobs used to make many of the decisions at iAd, and that as he became sicker, it became increasingly difficult for the iAd team to accomplish anything. With Jobs gone, Eddy Cue is said to be free to properly take charge of iAd, and make decisions on issues like pricing and technology that weren't discussed while Jobs was alive.
Another patent may hint at a quiet acquisition
Apple has been awarded a patent for its implementation of Siri, crediting original Siri inventor Thomas Gruber and others with the technology, which covers both its original format and its current Apple-enhanced incarnation. The company was also granted two patents related to battery technology, including a certification on non-rectangular battery shapes that may herald future devices. There's also a hint that Apple has quietly bought another company.
iAd without leader since August
Apple has managed to poach an Adobe executive, Todd Teresi, to put in charge of its iAd division, Bloomberg reports. Until this week, Teresi was a VP and general manager of media solutions at Adobe. Before that he served as the chief revenue officer for Quantcast, and earlier still, he was a senior VP with Yahoo.
Apple may have ad or publishing event this month
Apple is gearing up for a non-hardware special event at the end of January, insiders divulged Monday. The gathering, in New York City rather the Bay Area, had few details from AllThingsD but would be headed up by Internet Software and Services head Eddy Cue. The only proclaimed certainty from the multiple contacts was that it wouldn't involve the iPad 3.
Apple drops prices, adjusts rules on iAd
Apple is reportedly easing some of its policies around iAd to spark interest and counter Google's mobile ad control. Sources divulged Monday night to the Wall Street Journal that the minimum ad buy was dropping beyond earlier cuts to $400,000, less than half the million-dollar original baseline. Apple was also veering from the original plan, which charged a substantial amount for every ad click, to a believed $10 for every 1,000 views and what's implied is a lower $2 for every click.
Also improvements in editor and animation library
Apple today updated its iAd Producer program to version 2.0, just shy of a year since the program debuted. The new version features a new Object List that shows all objects and elements, a Project Validation function that "automatically checks the size and type of image assets, and that pages and components are configured correctly" before submission to Apple, and new animation tools and page objects as well as code-editing improvements and more.
AdMob now limited to mobile apps only
Google made a major policy change for its mobile ad unit AdMob late Friday with plans to take it away from the mobile web. Citing confusion and overlap, it now plans to limit AdMob to native mobile apps on Android, iPhones, iPads, and other phone or tablet platforms. AdSense, its original ad system, would be used for web ads on phones and tablets.
'Promotion' from role in charge of iTunes
Eddy Cue has been promoted to the position of Senior VP of Internet Software and Services at Apple, an email memo from CEO Tim Cook reveals. "Eddy will report to me and will serve on Apple’s executive management team," the message elaborates. Cook notes that Cue has been with Apple 22 years, and most recently was the head of Apple's iTunes efforts; he is currently overseeing the iTunes Store, the App Store and the iBookstore, as well as iAd and iCloud.
iOS 5 UDID API goes away, goes app-specific
A new discovery in iOS 5's documentation has raised concerns about the level of access developers will have to device information. Apple now considers the programming interface for the UDID, or unique device identifier, a "deprecated" technology in the new release, documentation forward to TechCrunch showed. Coders could still have unique identifiers, but they had to make their own app-specific IDs.
Company's mobile ads still on shaky ground
(Updated with Highland Capital confirmation) Apple's VP of mobile advertising, Andy Miller, is preparing to depart the company, say sources described as "close to the situation." The executive's staff was reportedly told about the departure today. Miller is tipped to become a general partner at Highland Capital, a venture capital firm based in Boston.
iAd placements rates said to be cut by 70%
Apple is reportedly slashing prices for iAd campaigns, as many advertisers are said to be departing from the platform. Unnamed sources have told Bloomberg the company is cutting its rates by as much as 70 percent in an effort to woo wary advertisers, many of which are said to be gravitating toward alternative platforms offered by companies such as Google.
Multiple parties call technology security risk
Apple will be supporting WebGL in iOS 5, but only for iAd developers, says Apple's Chris Marrin on a WebGL mailing list. The technology is a new rendering standard which allows 3D on websites without loading a plugin. Restricted to iAd, however, it will likely be used mostly for Flash-style advertising, including 2D animated sprites.
AdMob marks a year at Google with new tablet ads
AdMob kicked off its first year at Google with a new dip into tablet ads. Its new HTML5 code is designed both for the larger screens as well as to react to touch gestures. The platform is designed to be cross-platform and handle iPads, Android 3 slates and future platforms like the HP TouchPad.
iAd network still on shaky ground?
Apple has put a stop to iAd placements in kids' apps, a developer informs. Mike Zornek -- creator of the Dex Pokèmon browser for iPhones and iPods -- notes that last Thursday, his iAd fill rate dropped to an "awful" 5 percent. The next day the rate fell to zero, persisting through Saturday. This prompted Zornek to email Apple, and also to post a question in Apple's developer forums. On Tuesday he received a response.
Ads Tube rejected for 'lack of functionality'
Apple's newly-released iAd Gallery app may be a copy of an earlier, rejected third-party title, reports say. Several months ago a developer submitted Ads Tube, which like Gallery collects iAds into a single place for easy viewing. The app was denied from the App Store however, based on what Apple explained was a "lack of functionality."
Pushes ads and ad companies
Apple has released iAd Gallery, a free iPhone app it describes as a "celebration of advertising." The app highlights a selection of currently-running iAds, through which people can browse using a wheel interface, or alternately search according to advertiser, category or ad feature. Ads can be "Loved" for later access, and different sections of the app provide more information on the featured advertisers, ad agencies or iAd itself.
Likely meant to address network's low fill rates
Apple has slashed the minimum spend needed to get into iAd in half, says All Things Digital. While the company initially set the iAd barrier at $1 million, hoping to attract wealthy, high-profile marketers, it is now said to be requiring only a $500,000 investment. Although still placing the ad network out of range for many firms, the change should increase the number of eligible parties.
Apple salespeople allegedly becoming 'aggressive'
Apple's iAd network is in serious trouble at the moment, a variety of industry sources suggest. Several developers mention that fill rates for iAd fell sharply after the New Year; in particular, two separate developers say that their rates dropped from 18 percent to just 6. In some instances apps are said to be going without any iAds, despite the fact that other mobile ad networks are delivering near-total fill rates. Even some of the more positive cases are said to be showing a slip in rates.
Ad network's first effectiveness report
iAd is a potentially much more effective ad medium than TV, the first effectiveness study of the format suggests. Conducted by Nielsen but funded by Apple and Campbell's, the five-week analysis claims that people who saw one of Campbell's iAds were twice as likely to remember it as they were a TV spot. The Campbell's brand was recalled five times more often by iAd viewers versus people exposed to TV ads, although the actual message from an iAd was remembered just three times more.
iAd not bringing in much revenue, says pair
Two USC film students are using the iPhone 4 to create their own TV series, a report says. Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James are best known for a short called Apple of My Eye, also shot with the iPhone 4, and edited within the mobile iMovie app. The movie gained fame mostly for being one of the first efforts to apply professional filmmaking techniques to the iPhone 4.
Facebook to focus on mobile and buys Rel8tion
Facebook CTO Bret Taylor said at the Inside Social Apps conference that mobile was the "primary focus" of its social network this year. He noted that the phone was the fastest-growing segment and that those who used it were twice as active as those on the desktop. Additions from last year, such as single sign-on, were put in place to make Facebook-aware apps easier, he told Insider Facebook.
Next iPad and iPhone would make NFC staple feature
Analyst Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group claimed unusual access to Apple today with comments that Apple would add NFC (near field communications) to all its mobile devices. Along with the anticipated iPhone 5, the next iPad would get the short-range wireless technology, hardware engineers for both devices reportedly said. While he didn't explain how it would work in earnest, he told Bloomberg it might be used for an iTunes mobile payment system as soon as mid-2011, in sync with the new iPhone's release.
News Corp to skip iAd for iPad news source
News Corp.'s delayed The Daily publication will have major ads from the start but won't tap into Apple's own iAds if a slip is accurate. Land Rover, Macy's, Pepsi and Virgin are all reportedly signing onboard for the iPad magazine's first ad run. Despite Apple's rumored direct involvement, though, AdAge heard Medialets would handle the ads instead of Apple's iAd system.
Apple TV update supports third-party AirPlay
(Updated with more iOS 4.3 details) Apple has seeded two important iOS updates to developers. One is the first public beta of iOS 4.3, build 8F51448b. Several different downloads are available through the iOS Dev Center, oriented at the different devices. Apple has also published a new beta of the Apple TV firmware, allowing testing of AirPlay in web and/or third-party apps.