AdAge offers some insight into why both Amazon and Apple’s foray into selling advertising has not been met with the level of success many expected from two highly successful technology companies, both whom have an extremely desirable consumer base. It’s no secret that Apple’s iAd business, lauched in 2010, has not garnered much interest. Apple’s minimum requirements to run campaigns on the mobile network have been repeatedly slashed from the minimum $1 million when it first launched to a paltry $50 per spend. According to today’s report from AdAge, the disconnect between advertisers and Apple (along with Amazon) is each companies unwillingness to offer critical data about their customers. Both are in the ad business, but a share a general disinterest in driving revenues.
In addition to reducing campaign level spends, Apple has introduced iTunes Radio as another vehicle. Coupled with in-app advertising, they provide advertisers with a variety of options. Still, Apple’s U.S. mobile ad revenues were $258 million. Google led with $3.98 billion and Facebook had a respectable $1.53 billion. For Apple, advertising is everything but their core business and that’s likely part of problem. A small sales team is only part of the problem. Advertisers crave data. Apple has name, address, location, app, music and movie purchases. Disseminating that information to advertisers would increase the attractiveness of the iAd offering. One industry executive shared this quote:
“…Apple’s refusal to share data makes it the best-looking girl at the party, forced to wear a bag over her head.”
When advertisers need to segment their audience, they rely on Apple to find the appropriate audience. Advertisers feel the current relationships are not true ‘partnerships’. A recent Pepsi sponsorship of iTunes Radio, resulting in a Pepsi branded station, might represent Apple’s willingness to warm up to advertisers.