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WSJ: Apple's tight control of iAds frustrates advertisers

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
A new report alleges that Apple's fledgling mobile advertising service, iAd, is off to a "bumpy start," as advertisers experience delays due to Apple's creative involvement.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that advertisers have had difficulty adjusting to Apple's new advertising system. Part of the problem, those partners said, is that Apple maintains "tight control over the creative process."

"Part of the reason some marketers are experiencing delays in getting their iAds to market is that Apple has kept tight control on the creative aspects of ad-making, something advertisers aren't used to, according to several ad executives involved with creating iAds," the report said.

It continued: "That has made the creation of mobile ads laborious, taking about eight to 10 weeks from brainstorm to completion -- longer than normal for most mobile ads, executives said. The building of the actual ad, handled by Apple, in some cases is taking two weeks longer than expected, one person added."

Part of the hiccups are said to be the newness of the program, as Apple and its partners attempt to iron out the kinks. The interactive iAds began to show up in software on iOS 4 compatible devices on July 1.

iAds provide richly interactive ad experiences inside developers' apps, providing them a 60 percent cut of the advertising revenue. The hope is the advertisements -- noted by the iAd logo in the corner -- will be more compelling to users, because they don't have to leave their app and launch a browser to view them.

Sam Altman, Chief executive of social networking app Loopt, told the Journal that he feels the start of Apple's iAd network has been "disappointingly slow." However, he believes it will eventually perform better in the long term.

The report also said that Apple designs the iAds in HTMl5, but it has not yet provided a developer kit to its advertising partners to help them understand the capabilities and limitations of the format. It also alleged that Apple does not tell agencies where the iAd will appear, forcing them to search for their ads rather than easily access them.

The largely negative account of the start of the iAd service is a stark contrast from a different report last week from the Los Angeles Times, which painted a much more rosy picture. Initial advertisers like Unilever and Nissan said that they have had great results with iAd, with the car maker saying that users are five times more likely to click an iAd than a traditional mobile advertisement.

Developers, too, have found success with the new iAd platform. Dictionary.com said the amount it charges for ad space in its mobile advertisement increased 177 percent since Apple launched iAds. In addition, CBS Mobile has seen up to $25 CPM (an advertising term that means cost per thousand) in its applications for CBS Sports, CNet and GameSpot.
post #2 of 33
Wasn't there recently a report saying it's great?
post #3 of 33
By who?
post #4 of 33
Yesgreat in some ways (effective as advertising and as a revenue source) and pleasing to advertisers and developers alike. But challenges are still interesting to discuss, since this a unique service. Apple is a creative and production shop, making ads in collaboration with ad agencies, and deploying them to handheld devices in a new way. Thats a pretty unusual system! Luckily, advertisers who dont like the particular ad service Apple is offering (maybe theyd rather have simpler ads that someone else builds) are free to deploy iPhone ads in other ways.

Now, the WSJ may be hit-baiting a bit with their language: any Apple failure large or small can become a profitable headline
post #5 of 33
Internet advertising is a mess right now, and Apple is absolutely doing the right thing by exerting "tight control over the creative process." Internet advertising in general is high-volume / low-quality, and that makes for a lousy end-user experience. I would go so far as to say that the current Flash banner / AdSense model actually cheapens the Internet, by and large, by stifling the advertiser canvas so that the only plausible creative is quick and dirty.

Kudos to Apple for having the foresight and the wherewithal to implement a revamped approach.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Wasn't there recently a report saying it's great?

It was mentioned in the article if you read the article all the way through before you wanted to be the first to post.

If it's true that Apple didn't let ad purchasers in which apps their ads would appear in then it's Apple's fault.

As for their control over iAds, it can only be a good thing. Looking at net ads over the past 15 years they've all been lousy. They should be learning from Apple on how to create a proper ad. Or the Old Spice campaign.
post #7 of 33
Translation: Their crappy ads are being delayed while Apple cleans them up and makes them cool.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

By who?

Read 2nd last paragraph. .... LA Times, 'k?
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post #9 of 33
If only a company with Apple's creative skills had a say in TV ads before they were allowed on the air. Most are so bad it is unbelievable.
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post #10 of 33
.

Nothing to add!

.
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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by avium View Post

Internet advertising is a mess right now, and Apple is absolutely doing the right thing by exerting "tight control over the creative process." Internet advertising in general is high-volume / low-quality, and that makes for a lousy end-user experience.

I'd drop the iPhone in a minute if apps start to resemble the ad-choked web pages we gotta squint past. Apple has good reason to be watching over things.

That said, Apple needs to tread a fine line here. Nobody wants garbage, but you don't want to make it so hard the advertisers say "forget it" and put their efforts towards Android instead.
post #12 of 33
> The report also said that Apple designs the iAds in HTMl5, but it has not yet provided a developer kit to its advertising partners to help them understand the capabilities and limitations of the format.

I have a copy of the developer kit for creating iAds. It is available to any registered (paid) iOS developer. There were also two sessions on the subject at WWDC - I've watched them via the videos that are also available to devs.
post #13 of 33
There is nothing surprising or unexpected in this article. It's new and new products can hce unexpected delays, but looking at the longterm-big picture it appears Apple's doing what's always done: working on a select higher-end market segment and will eventually branch out to other areas. I see no reason why iAds won't eventually be seen on every device with a web browser.

PS: I've played an iAd game that trumps the refinement and fell or any real app on a smartphone outside iOS. I find that ironic.
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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If only a company with Apple's creative skills had a say in TV ads before they were allowed on the air. Most are so bad it is unbelievable.

If only a company with Apple's creative skills had a say in TV SHOWS before they were allowed on the air. Hello, Pixar?
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sippincider View Post

If only a company with Apple's creative skills had a say in TV SHOWS before they were allowed on the air. Hello, Pixar?

Actually there are at least two creative skills involved:

1) The artistic creative skill to conceive and story board an ad

2) the technical/programming skill to deliver the ad


Often, what isn't said (or isn't shown) is more compelling than what is...

... the classic VW bug ads that only said: "Coming soon"


In the early days, Regis McKenna handled most of Apple's ads-- later it was Chait-Day. I think they still do Apple's advertising.


My point: Apple has always strived for ads that matched or exceed Apple's product quality and buzz.

I suspect that Apple is involving ad agency creatives for app ads-- after all, these are an extension of the Apple ecosystem and a reflection on Apple, itself.

... If it is worth doing, it is worth doing it right!

,
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post #16 of 33
As an advertiser, I might be inclined to sit down and shut the @$!# up if two mores weeks meant a 10 - 20% increase in revenue.
post #17 of 33
Quality work takes time, especially with new products. If the ad agencies want to continue dolling out sloppy ads, I suppose they can put them on Google or an Android.
Apple works hard to include quality in all it does. They may not always be perfect but they are most often much better than "good enough".
post #18 of 33
iAds is doomed
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMcIn View Post

Quality work takes time, especially with new products. If the ad agencies want to continue dolling out sloppy ads, I suppose they can put them on Google or an Android. Apple works hard to include quality in all it does. They may not always be perfect but they are most often much better than "good enough".

I'm sorry but quality and time are two things unheard of in the modern ad industry
post #20 of 33
As someone who for years has been begging websites "Let me pay you for an ad-free experience" I fervently hope and pray that iAds dies a miserable death. If developers can't make enough money by selling their products and feel the need to pad the bottom line by putting iAds into them, I'm not interested.

And no matter how good your app is, I have a simple rule: I can pay for the app or your advertisers can. I won't pay for an app with embedded ads.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhill View Post

As someone who for years has been begging websites "Let me pay you for an ad-free experience" I fervently hope and pray that iAds dies a miserable death. If developers can't make enough money by selling their products and feel the need to pad the bottom line by putting iAds into them, I'm not interested.

And no matter how good your app is, I have a simple rule: I can pay for the app or your advertisers can. I won't pay for an app with embedded ads.

If you hate ads (and we all do) then you should be championing iAds, because your wish for the internet to be all pay-for-play access simply isn’t feasible. At least with iAds there is a chance that advertisers will actually learn to focus internet-based ads at customers in a way that is less intrusive and more useful to the viewer.
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post #22 of 33
Bear in mind the WSJ has no reason to want iAds to succeed, and that they've used unattributed quotes. I think it's WSJ that's finding the process slow.
iAds offer something different for advertisers. Anyone expecting them to be as simple as creating a Google ad or a banner ad will find it's not for them.

The earlier report quoted exactly the sort of companies iAds are aimed at. This report says nothing about who finds it slow.
Murdoch's papers in the uk are famous for dissing the opposition, usually the BBC, and this is more of the same IMHO.
Even though Murdoch has said he thinks the iPad is the future he wants it on his terms. That means seeking ads in his apps and that means making google and apple etc seem like bad choices.
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by avium View Post

Internet advertising is a mess right now, and Apple is absolutely doing the right thing by exerting "tight control over the creative process." Internet advertising in general is high-volume / low-quality, and that makes for a lousy end-user experience. I would go so far as to say that the current Flash banner / AdSense model actually cheapens the Internet, by and large, by stifling the advertiser canvas so that the only plausible creative is quick and dirty.

Kudos to Apple for having the foresight and the wherewithal to implement a revamped approach.

Thank you!
I was going to say the same freaking thing. Ads on the internet are just sh**. They are thrown all over the place with an "I DON'T GIVE A F***!" mentality.
Look, when the big boys get it going like Coke, Nike etc we will see some truly awesome ads or if I may invoke the words of Doc Brown from Back to the Future,
"When this baby hits 88 mph, you're going to see some serious sh**".
post #24 of 33
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!

It was never going to happen overnight. And seeing how poor most adverts are, and how little effort ad agencies get away with, this should not be surprising to anyone.

Again, it's going to be hats off to Apple who are changing the world, one industry at a time.
post #25 of 33
Have a feeling that apple is just trying to set the initial style of iAds.

If they let advertisers have all the say then they will just continue to so exactly the same unimaginative stuff they have done before - which is to say ridiculous flash animations and eyeblasters.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Have a feeling that apple is just trying to set the initial style of iAds.

If they let advertisers have all the say then they will just continue to so exactly the same unimaginative stuff they have done before - which is to say ridiculous flash animations and eyeblasters.

Totally agree. I don't think I've yet seen an iAd, but I sure hope Apple has some rules that maintain a little class and dignity in an otherwise ugly and trashy world. I could tolerate small ads if they were mostly static with slow/gentle transitions and without gaudy background colours.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

Totally agree. I don't think I've yet seen an iAd, but I sure hope Apple has some rules that maintain a little class and dignity in an otherwise ugly and trashy world. I could tolerate small ads if they were mostly static with slow/gentle transitions and without gaudy background colours.

Dunks and S.metcalf, I also fully agree.

At least with many web sites you can scroll the ads out of the way. I haven't seen an iAd yet either, but if it's going to be in a fixed bar on the screen, the ads had better not be so frantic & intrusive that they make the app unusable.

Which of course means Apple and the ad agencies are going to have a clash: Apple wanting to protect their experience, the ad agencies wanting whatever it takes to drive traffic. It'll be very interesting to see how this pans out.
post #28 of 33
If you don't like it, don't use it!!!

Everyone knows Apple likes to have control. If you don't like it, you don't have to make accessory products, apps, or ads meant for Apple's products.

Nothing is stopping anyone from using an alternative ad provider. Nothing is stopping anyone from making Blackberry, Palm OS, or Android apps. Nothing is stopping anyone from making a web app instead of using the App Store, or from making a Cydia store app.
post #29 of 33
Someone want to check out how the Toyota ads disrupt The Weather Channel app on iPads? It's intrusive and annoying in the extreme. If this an iAds product, this is bad news.

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post #30 of 33
After writing the article and getting this feedback, it is too bad WSJ has not taken the opportunity to clarify their position - unless they realized they don't have a position worth defending.

They should come out from under their rock and make specific points or retract their original comments.
post #31 of 33
I think what you are seeing is a bunch of ad companies who are use to whipping out an ad in a few hours and then having it placed on line for everyone to ignore and then collect a few pennies for each placement. Now they are being ask to conform to some standard which ensure the placement looks like and hits the right people and this take time since turning a hacker into someone which real creativity and skills takes time.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Now, the WSJ may be hit-baiting a bit with their language: any Apple failure large or small can become a profitable headline

100%.

This program is at most 6 months old (and has been active for less than 2). Of course it has kinks, will be slow going etc. Folks just like to gripe. They want to play in this realm by their rules, not the actual ones. Rather than saying 'okay Apple, when you get it figured out, we'll come play. Until then, we are sticking with this other service'. Mind you we know what the issue is, they want the info that Apple won't let 'this other service' have because that service is likely Google's which is not allowed user private info under Apple's rules.

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post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The largely negative account of the start of the iAd service is a stark contrast from a different report last week from the Los Angeles Times, which painted a much more rosy picture.

As others have said, there's really no contradiction between the 2 reports

One: iAds that are in-the-wild are performing great. Companies with ads are very pleased.

Two: iAds are taking too much time to prepare. Companies making ads are annoyed it's not quicker and easier.
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