It’s hard to know, exactly, just how successful Apple’s foray into mobile advertising is going thus far. On one hand, Apple has been able to ink deals with top companies such as Campbell Soup and Nissan, and indeed, some advertisers are reporting much higher than average user interaction with Apple’s more engaging iAds. Yet still, others claim that iAd rollouts are off to a less than stellar start due to Apple’s insistence that it be an integral part of the creative process. This has resulted in some companies having to recalibrate their timeline for planned advertising campaigns, with some choosing to opt for other ad networks entirely in the interim.
All that said, Apple appears to be in the mobile ad business for the long hall with Steve Jobs noting that almost all mobile advertising “sucks”, and there’s nothing Apple likes better than walking in and fixing up things that “suck.” Also, remember that Apple is very green when it comes to advertising. In fact, iit hasn’t even been a year since Apple plopped down more than a quarter of a billion dollars (yes, that’s billion with a ‘B”) to acquire Quattro Wireless after their attempt to purchase AdMob was undermined by Google.
Either way, data compiled by IDC shows that Apple’s iAd initiative seems to be doing just fine, despite some complaints about ad turnaround. According to data provided to BusinessWeek by IDC, Apple’s iAd network will account for 21% of the mobile ad market this year while Google’s share of the market will drop 6 percentage points to 21%. And pulling up the rear will be Microsoft at 7%, Yahoo at 9%, and poor ole’ Nokia at 5% (Nokia has an ad network?!)
Apple’s iAd network may not be growing as fast as CEO Jobs hoped. Speaking at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Jobs said iAd would grab almost half of all projected U.S. mobile-ad spending in the second half of this year. That may be wishful thinking, says Karsten Weide, an analyst for IDC in San Mateo, Calif.
To grow even faster, iAd will need to add features, such as the ability for advertisers to target specific devices. Philippe Browning, director of mobile strategy and business development at CBS (CBS/A), says he passed on iAd when he found out Apple couldn’t serve ads to iPad owners exclusively. He opted for AdMob, which offered more flexibility.
And the race is on.
You can check out the full scoop from BusinessWeek over here.