Apple's iAd business can grow only if the iPhone and iPad manufacturer will be more willing to share its treasure trove of data. Advertisers can know a lot about their market when they know their location, age, likes, shopping patterns, among others but it seems Apple doesn't want to give them those information.
A new report on Advertising Age has revealed what advertisers think of Apple's arrogance when it comes to its mobile advertising platform and its tight grip on user data. This attitude towards its ad business turns off advertisers and makes them turn elsewhere, perhaps other avenues such as Google, Yahoo, or Facebook that make life a lot easier for them.
While Google raked in a revenue of $3.98 billion from mobile ad and Facebook pocketed $1.53 billion, Apple's mobile ad earnings can be considered meager at $258 million.
"It's not their main focus to tell everyone in the world how amazing advertising in iAd is. It's just not as loud," chief innovation officer of media investment management firm GroupM Cary Tilds told Advertising Age.
The iAd business was introduced by Steve Jobs in 2010 and from the required $1 million to create ads that will show up on the screens of iDevices, the company adjusted this to a minimum of $500,000 in February 2011, down to $300,000 in July 2011, and to $100,000 in February 2012.
"One person familiar with the situation exec said Apple's refusal to share data makes it the best-looking girl at the party, forced to wear a bag over her head," the AdAge report read.
It is that bad. Advertisers are drooling for data of the 600 million-plus accounts registered on iTunes but Apple will not budge.
Apple may have its reasons. Privacy of customers over cash? On the surface, perhaps. Apple boasts of its commitment to the privacy of consumers.
"Apple respects the privacy of our customers and the security of their information. Because of this, iAd allows users to control their own ad preferences so that their experience is on their own terms. Moreover, since we're committed to fairness and reliability for both our advertisers and their customers, we've taken great care to ensure the validity and reliability of our campaign and audience measurement," it states on its iAd page.
However, in reality, it may be that Applejust doesn't care about iAd. Its income comes mainly from sales on iTunes and from the loyal hoard waiting for every release of its beautifully designed gadgets. The numbers from its iAd business however is expected to boom with its refocus on iTunes Radio.