Apple adding ability to track what you do inside retail apps to serve targeted advertising

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Apple is reportedly adding the ability to track what users do inside certain apps in order to present them with targeted in-app ads across iOS devices, reports digital media site Digiday.

Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart.

Ad agencies say that Apple has been pitching the new capability since last month …
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Apple rolls out new iAd formats, launches network in Russia and Switzerland

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Apple announced two changes to its iAd platform today, expanding the reach and available formats of the ad network in an attempt to reel in more advertisers. The first of these changes is support for brand new iAd styles, including those pre-roll videos we’ve all come to know and love on YouTube. Full-screeninterstitial have also been added to the selection, with both new formats detailed in an updated implementation guide.

The company also announced that it starting today the iAd network is available in two new countries: Russia and Switzerland.  iAd creators can use the iAd Workbench to update their target audiences to cover these new demographics.

Apple meeting with UK ad agencies in preparation for iTunes Radio rollout

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Apple appears to be readying for an UK iTunes Radio launch in the near future. As indicated by this tweet, Apple’s director of iAd Paul Wright has recently been visiting media marketing agencies to discuss iAd in relation to iTunes Radio.

Bloomberg said that Apple was planning to launch in the UK in ‘early 2014′ last October, but so far this has not happened several months into 2014. Although many people have seen iTunes Radio sporadically appear on their devices in recent months, it is has only officially expanded to Australia beyond the US launch alongside iOS 7.

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Apple opens iAd Workbench platform to non-developers, adds video clip support

As noted in a report today from Ad Age (via MacRumors), Apple is now allowing non-developers to access and use the iAd Workbench platform.

At the onset of its mobile-ad business, Apple extended olive branches to a select group of brands, promising premier reach. But advertisers pushed back against its pricey offerings. Now, it appears Apple has concluded money in mobile ads comes from a wide net; in short, it’ll look more like Google.

Previously, iAd Workbench users had to at least be enrolled in Apple’s $99/year registered developers program, but now opening an iAd Workbench account will only require an Apple ID which is free to create with any Apple service or device. Ad Age reports that customers using iAd Workbench can choose between payment based on cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impressions, although rates are currently not clear. Read more

iOS 8: Apple considers moving iTunes Radio to its own app to boost usage

iTunesRadioIn an effort to boost usage of its new streaming music service that launched alongside iOS 7 last fall, Apple is considering changes to iTunes Radio. The Cupertino company is now testing iTunes Radio as a standalone application with iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans. iTunes Radio first arrived as a feature within the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system’s Music application. As a tab in the already-existing Music app, iTunes Radio has not received a promoted presence on iOS, and this likely has deterred growth for the service in terms of advertising revenue and usage…

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Report: Apple bringing full screen, interstitial iAds to iPhone

According to a new report from Ad Age, Apple is planning to offer a new option for how iAds are presented on its iOS platform. The new iAd option will allow included video content to play automatically at full screen rather than being prompted by tapping a more subtle banner. While interstitial iAds are already possible for iAds presented on the iPad meant for use in Newsstand apps, the report claims the new options will target both iPhone and iPad users suggesting the option could debut for iPhone and iPod touch users. The report believes the automatically playing, full screen interstitial iAds will likely be presented in between activity rather than interrupting content entirely. Read more

Madison Avenue execs describe Apple’s ad sales team as “slow, cocky and downright stingy”

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Apple is missing out on iAd sales opportunities because the company is too “slow, cocky and downright stingy” according to Madison Avenue media buyers cited in a piece in Advertising Age.

One exec told Ad Age that Apple doesn’t even have official sales targets for its ad business.

Cary Tilds, chief innovation officer for GroupM, said that Apple doesn’t have a big sales team. “It’s not their main focus to tell everyone in the world how amazing advertising in iAd is,” she said. “It’s just not as loud” …  Read more

Report: Apple focusing iAd sales on iTunes Radio, building real-time exchange for in-app ads

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Adweek is reporting that Apple is focusing the iAd sales department almost exclusively on iTunes Radio, rather than developing its in-app ad portfolio, which is how the service originally started. According to the report, Eddy Cue told the advertising unit that iTunes Radio advertisements are a top priority, presumably as Apple is preparing to expand the music service into more countries next year.

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Apple looking to double employee head count for in-house advertising/marketing team

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Apple is looking to double the amount of personnel on its in-house marketing and advertising team, according to a report from AdAge. Currently, according to the report, the team includes 300 employees, but Apple is said to be looking to increase that number to between 500 and 600 people.

Apple, in recent years, has reportedly been resilient to growing the team because of a philosophy created by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs:

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Apple’s Developer Center is back after over a week offline

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After being offline for more than a week, Apple’s Developer Center is back. Access to the portal was removed by Apple after it was discovered that a breach into the system granted individuals access to the names, mailing addresses, and email addresses of registered developers. Apple confirmed that sensitive personal data such as credit card information and developer passwords were encrypted and secure.

The Developer Center looks the same as it was prior to its removal, but we assume Apple has followed through with its promise to overhaul the entire system by updating its server software and rebuilding its databases from scratch so as to prevent another intrusion.

While most of the main developer services have returned, Apple is still in the process of restoring the entire portal to normal. Some areas of the site such as the forums, pre-release documentation, and development videos, are still offline as per Apple’s System Status page.

Apple has also emailed developers with this new information:

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Apple releases iAd Workbench, shifting iAd’s focus towards app developers rather than large brands

best-screen_2xWith the latest changes to iTunes Connect, Apple has clearly changed its approach to mobile advertising. For the last three years, Apple has targeted large brands with minimum buy-ins ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, uptake of iAd does not seem to have been at the level Apple expected, which has had a negative impact on developers, who have commonly observed low fill rates for their ads.

In mid 2010, Apple allowed app developers to participate in the advertising side of iAd program, by showing banner ads that link directly to their apps. With newly announced changes to iAd, which have been discussed in-depth at WWDC, Apple has furthered this push.

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