While Apple arguably can do whatever it puts its hand to, its recent move to bring programmatic advertising to iAd doesn’t have everyone impressed.
At the moment, Apple’s iAd API – which enables developers and mobile ad companies to create and manage their campaigns in a private exchange environment – will only support standard banner ad sizes. [Emily Del Greco, VP of sales at Adelphic – one of Apple’s iAd API approved demand side launch partners – told AdExchanger that Apple is considering adding video in early 2015, as well as potential capabilities around tag level data.]
“If there weren’t enough nails in the old ad network model, having Apple make the switch to programmatic is one more,” said Adelphic CEO Michael Collins. “The last big holdout has moved to audience buying.”
If Apple wants to succeed with iAd programmatic advertising take-two, it’s going to need to prepare itself to share some of its much-lauded audience data, including iTunes, app store and iTunes radio data – namely email addresses, purchases, preferences and downloads – and verified age and gender data, which Del Greco noted is often hard to come by in the mobile space. That doesn’t mean playing fast and loose with customer privacy, but it does mean opening up to its DSP partners and their buyers.
Apple could eventually have a cross-device programmatic advertising advantage over Facebook, but Facebook – despite its seeming unwillingness to compromise on data ownership – has an ad server, the revamped Atlas. Apple doesn’t – and it’s something Adelphic customers have been asking for. As it stands, reporting and tracking through the API comes through Apple. Third-parties trackers are not yet supported.
“Right now, most buyers use third-party ad serving tags and third-party attribution and conversion tracking, and Apple’s API doesn’t support that,” said Adelphic’s Del Greco. “Facebook has gotten away without doing it fully, but it’s kind of a show stopper. We’ve heard that from multiple buyers, including a major automotive OEM.”
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