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Report: Apple Is Automating iAds To Step Back From Mobile Advertising

The company's insistence on control may have hamstrung its ad platform from the start.

Report: Apple Is Automating iAds To Step Back From Mobile Advertising
[Photo: via Apple]

Apple is stepping back from the iAds mobile advertising business it launched six years ago, says a new report.

No longer will Apple salespeople call on advertisers, says BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, citing anonymous sources. Rather, marketers and advertising firms will now access the automated advertising platform through an API (application program interface). Publishers will now keep all of the revenue they generate from ad placements, the report says.

After launching in 2010, iAds failed to gain wide adoption. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in 2014 that they had become a very small part of the company's business. According to eMarketer, Apple controlled only about 5% of the mobile ads business in 2015. Facebook, the clear leader in the space, controlled 38% of the business.

Some have said that iAds was hamstrung from the very start by the tight control Apple exerted over the platform. Some would-be advertisers on the platform were put off by the aggressive tactics of Apple salespeople, the control Apple demanded over the look and feel of the ads, and the company's reluctance to release analytics data to advertisers.