Apple removes iAds from apps targeting children
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will no longer display promotions from its iAd network in iOS applications designed for children, citing lack of interest from advertising partners. MacStories reports that after developer Mike Zornek--creator of the free, Pokemon-themed Dex browser--complained to Apple about his poor iAd fill rate, he received a reply from the iAd Network Support team indicating the computing giant no longer integrates iAd campaigns into iOS apps designed for the pre-teen market.
Zornek's Dex, a Pokemon app, and other apps designed for children will no longer be able to display ads from the iAd network.
"We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers," Apple states. "Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience."
On his blog, Zornek states that most of the money generated via the Dex app resulted from iAd revenues. "And that's how an iAd supported version of Dex died," he writes. "No warning, no notice and inevitably no respect to the developers who have centered their app's revenue model around the iAd platform." Zornek also laments Apple's failure to more directly communicate the iAd policy revamp to its developer partners.
First introduced to the U.S. market in mid-2010, iAd promises more interactive and immersive rich media advertisements that keep users within an app instead of transporting them somewhere else. But earlier this year, TechCrunch reported Apple is struggling to secure marketer attention, with iAd fill rates--i.e., the percentage of ad inventory filled with actual advertisements--in steep decline since 2011 began. "The general consensus among the advertising community is that it is a product they don't want," said one unnamed mobile ad technology executive, adding the iAd business "is hurting."
Most U.S. marketers spend a minimum of $1 million to launch on the iAd network, with some paying more than $10 million for levels of exclusivity within their respective industry vertical. However, when iAd expanded to the international market late last year, The Financial Times noted that Apple offered European marketers campaigns priced at less than $1 million in an effort to attract marquee brand partners.
"Apple is in a weaker position than you'd think," said one unnamed digital ad agency executive at the time--another exec added "Apple is still figuring out how to sell advertising. You don't just become a sell-side media company overnight. The infrastructure is missing at Apple right now."
- read this MacStories article
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