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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Apple unveils much rumored iTunes Radio service at WWDC 2013

iTunes-RadioThere were no shortage of details regarding Apple’s much rumored radio service leading up to today’s keynote address. The rumors said Apple was planning on introducing a free, ad-supported radio service, similar to Pandora, that would be highly integrated with a tweaked model for its iAd business. Apple has now officially unveiled the service dubbed ‘iTunes Radio’ and provided some details on exactly how it will work during its keynote presentation this morning at Moscone West in San Francisco.

The new iTunes Radio app is built in to the iOS radio app, and works on the Mac and Apple TV as well. As rumored, iTunes Radio will be free, supported by ads. In a twist, however, iTunes Radio will be completely free (free of ads) if you’re a subscriber to iTunes Match:

The Music app has a beautiful new design and includes the new iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes can deliver. iTunes Radio is the best way to discover new music. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac®, PC or Apple TV®, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you.

As we reported prior to today’s event, the underlining technology is based on Apple’s iTunes Genius feature with iTunes Radio tailoring the experience to your iTunes usage. Apple says there will be Siri integration, and also aims to offer users “access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists.” Read more

Report claims Apple’s iRadio will include both audio ads and traditional iAds

Image (2) tron-iad-121410.jpg for post 42302Following several reports from earlier this week claiming Apple’s much rumored free, ad-supported radio service would be tightly integrated with its iAd business, AdAge claims to have more details on how ads will work in the service.

In case you were wondering whether or not the ads would be audio ads or traditional app-like iAds, AdAge says both:

The audio ads will be sold via iAd, Apple’s mobile ad network, according to a former Apple executive with knowledge of the situation. In addition to audio ads, the streaming music service will also contain the mobile ads iAd currently sells.

The aim of the ad-supported service, which according to the report’s sources will not include the ability to search or play specific songs on-demand, is to drive song downloads to iTunes.

The report adds that a spokesperson for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the one major publisher that reportedly hasn’t made deal with Apple yet, said the company “is optimistic it will sign a deal with Apple soon.”  Read more