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iAds faltering due to "control freak" mentality?

updated 06:35 pm EDT, Sat October 2, 2010

Slow rollout, increased competition also factors

A recent rumor adds fuel to speculation that Apple's creative controls over iAd advertiser content is pushing potential clients away, according to mobile industry sources. Following Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz's criticism of the "obnoxious" level of control Apple exercise over iAds, Business Insider reports that other clients such as Chanel and now possibly Adidas have dropped out of the program.

Apple's iAd efforts have so far met with success on some fronts, particularly in terms of gaining share and general advertiser satisfaction both with the end products and user click-through, but the rollout has clearly been slower than the company would like. Current estimates give Apple a 21 percent share by the end of the year, on par with Google's AdMob. However, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had expressed confidence that iAds would control 50 percent of the mobile ad market by that time when the service was launched at WWDC in June, making it clear that Apple has encountered some resistance in its initial plans for the program.

Problems citing by advertisers include a combination of the slower-than-expected rollout, tales of multiple rejections by Apple over content, a lack of third-party ad-serving tools and a lack of flexibility over where their advertisements appear. Another factor creating complications is the emergence of several smaller rivals that have split the mobile advertising "pie" into smaller slices, along with the recent entrance of Blackberry maker RIM into the mobile-ad arena, sure to further divide up potential revenues.

An Apple spokesperson claimed that iAd clients have doubled since its debut, but did not deny reports that Adidas has dropped the service.

by MacNN Staff



  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Steve Jobs always sounds so rigid and resolute whenever he speaks out in public that people think he's this stubborn mule who will never change course even if it leads Apple over a cliff edge. In reality though, he has been very nimble responding to market situations and usually comes out with a finely calibrated remedy. If strategic adjustments are necessary, Apple has generally delivered it without allowing market and customer hysteria to cause them to overreact.

    So some would be advertisers are not happy with the way iAd is run. If the problem is serious enough as to endanger iAd viability, does anyone really believe that Apple will not adjust their iAd strategy?

    Look, Jobs said it himself. They're going to do things the best way they think, but if that causes their sales to fall, then obviously they're not doing things right and they'll change what they're doing.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hearing from the advertisers

    So far we haven't really heard from those who are rejecting Apple, if that's what ti is. The Media is always so quick to report any up or down and with absolutely NO ability to discern, understand, or figure out how this will play out. The MEDIA would really like to run Apple, and so would the Wall Street boys because they feel so uncertain with every pronouncement they make. And what about all these companies no one has heard of that report all these statistics? Why isn't there a company that looks at their "right" vs "wrong" outcomes and report on THEM?

    You'd find a lot of these companies jump the gun.

  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not so sure about that, aardman

    Apple isn't as "nimble" as some may think. How long did it take for them to finally open up about the App Store approval process after tons of developers complained over and over? Not to mention the iPhone 4 antenna situation. They spent a long time claiming there was no problem whatsoever before the special event when Steve finally admitted it was a problem, but only a small one. AppleTV hasn't sold very well in the four years since it was announced, yet only now are they offering a different version, which isn't going over well with the content providers, either. On the hardware side, we were stuck with the infamous hockey puck mouse for way too long. Never mind the crazy insistence for about two decades that users would be confused by mice that have more than one button. Users haven't been baffled and befuddled by the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad, leading me to think we're not quite as stupid as Steve thinks we are.

    I'm sure they'll change at some point, but history shows it's often only when they have no other choice and they're dragged kicking and screaming into the resolution. When Apple does things right, they really get things right. But when they get things wrong, getting them to admit to an error is like pulling teeth.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @Titanium Man

    "Apple isn't as "nimble" as some may think"

    Actually many of todays youth, while knowledgable on technology, are woefully short on real world knowledge. Its easy to say.... lets do this.. and expect it to be done. But big companies take some time. Even when they move fast. International companies require international connections and while a nerd may be up all night, most companies tend to close at night.

    "Apple should add x** feature" and right now.... Do you guys know how long it takes to make up a contract, get suppliers to determine how long they will take to start building the unit, determine how long it will take their suppliers to get parts to them, test, update procedures, re test the design..... then finally start production. OH and did you want 2 million available for launch.?????? Well Production RAMPS up from ZERO to some level. Its the real world.

    So, I try and cut Apple slack, but then I come from just after the "Horse and buggy days" so I have lived and worked at these companies....

    Just a thought,

  1. ezylstra

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pushing your narrative?

    Seems as if the story is more that some companies have chosen to drop iAds because they want to exercise their control of the ads and because they don't want to meet the quality requirements of iAds.

    iAds would be faltering if it were losing share of the ad market. Instead, it is gaining:

    Your narrative is that Steve Jobs is driving Apple into decline because of his authoritarian approach. The facts pretty well show that he is responsible for Apple's massive expansion and influence over the past ten years.

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