TechCrunch is reporting that the fill rate for Apple’s iAd program may be slumping off after initial demand and interest in the program when the program was introduced last July. An excerpt: Across the board, several developers I’ve spoken to confirm that “fill rates” for iAds dropped drastically after the New Year and have yet […]
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iAds Running into Trouble?

iad-failed.pngTechCrunch is reporting that the fill rate for Apple’s iAd program may be slumping off after initial demand and interest in the program when the program was introduced last July.
An excerpt:

Across the board, several developers I’ve spoken to confirm that “fill rates” for iAds dropped drastically after the New Year and have yet to recover. The fill rate – what percentage of the ad inventory is actually filled with an ad – for two separate developers plummeted from 18 percent to 6 percent. And in a few instances for some newer apps, none of the ad slots were getting filled, compared to nearly complete fill rates from other mobile ad networks. Others report better fill rates but as one developer says, “They have definitely come down.”

Apple could be facing one of three problems, or a combination thereof. That is, decline in interest or dissatisfaction on the behalf of advertisers, a seasonal change in advertising spending, or Apple inability to fill the spots with advertisers due to the influx of iOS devices after the holiday season.

That said, TechCrunch notes that Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other company executives were a heavy influence for other companies to initially sign up for the iAd program. Without them pushing, it seems interest has died off.

After selling the initial campaigns, the relationships were dumped into the laps of junior account managers in Apple’s advertising business (which came out of Apple’s $275 million acquisition of Quattro Wireless last year). They are being tasked to get renewals this year from ad agencies and brands or equal or greater amounts. But the experiment is over (advertisers can now see how the ads perform) and these junior salesmen don’t have access to the CEOs. They need to talk to their counterparts at ad agencies and brands, who can’t spend $1 million on a mobile ad campaign so easily. One ad agency executive tells me that the iAd salespeople are suddenly calling a lot more and becoming very aggressive in pushing for renewals.

From the outside looking in, I can tell what the big problem is for iAds- The price. At a reported $1 million for a slot. That’s a large hurdle, and would even make the most successful of companies blink.

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