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Why Apple's IAd Format Failed

Writing on TechCrunch, Ragnar Kruse, CEO and founder of Smaato explores one of Apple's failures: the iAd. Apple confirmed it's shuttering the six-year-old program on June 30th. The shuttering signals defeat in the digital advertising space where Google, Facebook and other major players rule. In 2010, Kruse notes, Steve Jobs said iAd would reach 50% of the mobile advertising market; fill rates were anywhere from 18% to 6%. So what happened? Kruse blames it on Apple's walled garden approach which didn't work with mobile advertising.The standalone iAds platform "closed customers off to important revenue opportunities on other networks. By operating within Apple’s walledgarden, advertisers and publishers were only able to reach iOS users — only 13.9% of the worldwide smartphone market." Further, he says that by only serving iOS devices, Apple prevented customers from reaching lucrative emerging markets where the Android OS is particularly dominant.

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