37 Replies
      Latest reply on May 25, 2016 9:51 PM by MJ Mechanic
      srp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        Yesterday Apple made the following announcement:

         

        "The iAd App Network will be discontinued as of June 30, 2016. Although we are no longer accepting new apps into the network, advertising campaigns may continue to run and you can still earn advertising revenue until June 30. If you’d like to continue promoting your apps through iAd until then, you can create a campaign using iAd Workbench. We will continue to keep you updated, but if you have any questions, contact us."

         

        At first I didn't think this applied to me, since I do have iAds displaying in apps, but don't run any campaigns.   Then I re-read the part that says "advertising campaigns may continue to run and you can still earn advertising revenue until June 30, and thought... well, I'm earning adversiting revenue.  Maybe this does apply to me.

         

        There's some confusion on the web right now too.   Some places are saying that iAd is completely closing all services, some are saying only part of it is going away and people using iAd to display ads will continue to do so, and only the backend is changing.

         

        Can we get some clarification on what this means for developers?

        • Re: iAd App Network announcement
          roryobryan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

          I was also confused by the announcement and the media coverage.

           

          I now think the announcement means that iAd is closing entirely, at least from a developer perspective, i.e. for earning revenue by showing ads, and for creating ads for your own apps.

          ---

           

          My confusion was really based on the fact that I didn't believe Apple would close down iAd with just the short message on the developer news page.

          https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=01152016a

          Also because the rest of the iAd promotional pages are still active with no message stating it is closing.

          https://developer.apple.com/iad/

           

          I had also read some media reports like you that said it was just the part of iAd where developers create ads for their own apps that is ending:

          http://9to5mac.com/2016/01/15/apple-will-discontinue-iad-app-network-for-developers-on-june-30th/

          http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/15/apple-iad-shutdown-june-30th/

           

          However other reports from well informed sources still indicate the complete closure:

          http://daringfireball.net/linked/2016/01/15/iad

          http://www.imore.com/apple-shutter-iad-app-network-june-30

           

          I contacted the iAd team for clarification and was just referred back to the original announcement

           

          Hello,

          Thank you for your inquiry.

          You may refer to the below website

          https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=01152016a&1452895272

          Any future updates will be mentioned on our website.

          Thank you again for your interest in iAd.

          Best Regards,

          - iAd Support Team

           

          Yesterday I finally found a description of what "The iAd App Network" means on the Apple developer site, and now conclude that, from a developer perspective, "The iAd App Network" = "iAd" as we know it, So the whole thing must be shutting down:

          https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/LanguagesUtilities/Conceptual/iTunesConnect_Guide/Chapters/ConfiguringStoreTechnologies.html

           

          iAd App Network.

          The iAd App Network provides an environment for you to incorporate rich media ads into your iOS apps. Once you sign the iAd App Network Contract and integrate the iAd Framework in your app, all apps that are approved and Ready for Sale will be eligible to receive iAd ads.

           

          And

           

          iAd App Network

          iAd is Apple’s digital advertising platform. As an iOS app developer, you can take advantage of iAd in two ways:

          ... Design targeted advertising campaigns to promote your iOS apps through iAd Workbench.

          ... Earn revenue by joining the iAd App Network and incorporating iAd rich media ads into your iOS apps.

           

          The final bit of confusion relates to earlier media reports about possible changes to the iAd backend:

          http://www.buzzfeed.com/johnpaczkowski/apple-iad#.idnM7Gx8q

           

          and reports on quotes from Eddy Cue:

          http://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-news-app-is-off-to-a-rocky-start-1452474159

           

          Mr. Cue said he was surprised by the extent to which publishers call on Apple to handle ad sales. He said Apple has accelerated the development of its iAd network and expects to launch a self-service ad-buying platform in the next two months to help increase ad spending.

           

          I think the reported backend changes to iAd must only refer to advertising in the News app, which could make sense as the news publishers are locked into Apples own News app and can't replace iAd themselves with an alternative.

           

          But still having said all that, could they really shut down iAd with just a brief statment on a easily missed news page!

            • Re: iAd App Network announcement
              KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

              Eddy says a lot of positively charged 'forward looking'  things...he's the Pete Carroll of the online world. Wax positive to help comfort investors.

               

              Eddy recently said the company "missed the error as it focused on other aspects of the product" about why Apple 'underreported' Apple News users to it's publishers. Smells like a typical Eddy snow job...

               

              Projecting they would eventually control 50% of online advertising and thinking they could price it as high as they wished, Apple mismanaged iAd from the start. It was just a matter of time before they cut their loses, and recent changes to staff [ Hoping this is good news ] may have something to do with it.

               

              It all boils down to Apple's habit of 'build it and they will come' - all well and good, but when you build something, you need to build it out, not just press-release it and then move to the next big thing.

                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                  MarkS17 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  I was all set to submit my first free app (and use iAd as the monetization mechanism) when this announcement came out.

                   

                  So, here is Plan B: please reply with your opinions on whether it will fly with Apple. I will now use that banner area at the bottom to advertise one of my other $0.99 apps - I will create an image of the same size and if clicked have an NSURL call to my website describing the app or its iTunes entry. Thanks for any feedback in advance.

                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                  dorada Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                  roryobryan I think thats a great summary, and you are probably right. Its all over for developers providing free apps using iAd.

                   

                  I've always been a bit confused by peoples general impression that iAd is a "failure", its been by far the most successful way for me to monetise many of my apps, beating several other ad networks.

                   

                  Its very strange the way this has been announced, I suppose the iAd staff who have been layed off don't have an incentive to clarify or update the web site.

                    • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                      robglassey Level 2 Level 2 (75 points)

                      Or, they've been caught on the hop by the initial media stories and just aren't ready for the big reveal where it will all make sense?

                       

                      I would agree with your thoughts on it not being a failure - before the bulk of my free downloads started going to China (where iAd does not operate), iAd was my best performing ad network. I guess it depends on how you measure success. Not taking 50% of the ad market, meh, it's a failure, chuck it.

                       

                      It's a shame as that was the ad network I most trusted not to mess me or my customers about.

                      • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                        KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                             >a bit confused by peoples general impression that iAd is a "failure",

                         

                        Failure for Apple. The individual dev is left to decide how it worked out for them, personally. I think at the beginning, many of us had high hopes it would be a trustworthy and beneficial experience simply because Apple was involved.

                         

                        If Apple had better managed their own expectations, perhaps it would have worked out better for everyone.

                          • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                            Brian Greenstone Level 2 Level 2 (30 points)

                            Yep, this is very disappointing.  We've invested a lot in iAd over the years, and it was the best ad platform for us.  Both monitarily and aesthetically.  iAds were the only ads sized correctly for iDevices.  In our apps we use InMobi to fill ads if iAd doesn't, and I always hated it when an InMobi ad would come up because it was totally the wrong size for an iDevice in landscape orientation.  iAds looked good and worked well.  Seems not much is working out for Apple these days

                             

                            -Brian

                        • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                          MJ Mechanic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          Is this really true? Wikipedia says "January 2016 -The iAd App Network (not iAd, just the advertise-your-app component) will be discontinued as of June 30, 2016." - of course Wikipedia could be wrong.

                           

                          However, if iAd as a whole would really be going away, wouldn't the framework and API be deprecated by now?

                           

                          I am still confused by this.

                            • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                              KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                              Yes, it's true. See: https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=01152016a

                               

                              But that refers to the iAD Program, whereby Apple stops vended ads. New apps stopped being allowed a few months back.

                               

                              No news yet about the API, yet - we're waiting for WWDC.

                                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                  MJ Mechanic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                  Well, now I'm just 30% confused (previously 150%)...

                                   

                                  Of course I see that announcement every day, logging in and out of iTunes Connect...

                                  The wording "iAd App Network" confuses me. You all seem to believe that "iAd App Network" = "iAd". Again, according to Wikipedia, that is not the same as iAd. So according to Wikipedia, iAd is not going away.

                                   

                                  However I do believe you are right, more and more...

                                   

                                  Of the ten-twenty apps we currently have in store, only one or two of them actually uses iAd anyway, all the other apps use a zillion other ad network alternatives. Just noticed now that out of the apps that do have iAds, there seems to be zero inventory at this moment. No ads are showing at this moment (might depend on geo location etc of course). One of those apps is an iPad app. iAd was the only ad network I knew of that had (iPad sized) ads. A shame. For the iPhone app, luckily I built a backend control panel which lets us change the ad network to alternatives on the fly, no resubmitting that iPhone app. For the iPad app, I'm not sure, I have a hunch my boss will tell me to nuke it. He's not so technical so I don't think he knows its actually a universal app. I might have to resubmit that iPhone app anyway, making it an iPhone-only-sized app. Anyway...

                            • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                              mbrady Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                              It's clear that Apple needs to inform developers on what exactly is going on. There is tons of confusion out there about this announcement.

                               

                              If indeed iAd is going away, then they need to inform developers NOW. I would not have heard about any of this if it weren't for blog reports and I use an iAd banner in my app. Developers need time to make all the necessary changes to either switch to a different ad network or chage how they monetize their apps. And as wel know, that's not always a quick process.

                               

                              So if Apple has indeed decided to kill iAd, then then there's no excuse for them to have not sent our emails to all app developers using iAd about this decision.

                                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                  Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                  >If indeed iAd is going away, then they need to inform developers NOW. I would not have heard about any of this if it weren't for blog reports and I use an iAd banner in my app.

                                   

                                  Yep. I wouldn't have known about this either if someone else didn't post about it on the developer forums in response one of my threads. They dropped a couple line statement on the "News" RSS feed, which has a buried link at the bottom of the Developer page. How many apps use iAd today (how many thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands)? Rodney Dangerfield, we get no respect!

                                   

                                  The right thing to do, would be to e-mail all developers and tell them that iAd will be discontinued. It doesn't sound like they are preparing a replacement for WWDC, why would they sneak a few lined statement on the RSS feed beforehand?

                                   

                                   

                                  I was planning on releasing several free apps in the next couple months, to be supported by iAd... but now....I'm wondering if it'd just be a waste of time. I stopped using AdMob awhile ago because they weren't worth it. They don't pay.

                                   

                                  I was very happy with iAd. It was a nice built in API made by Apple, you didn't have to worry about a third party sneaking Malware in your app too. Even if iAd wasn't making enough money from Apple's perspective, do they not see the value it adds to the platform, to incentivize app development? This type of change, I imagine sure won't hurt Apple in the short term, but what about the platform? Who feels like making free apps right now?

                                  Are we allowed to talk third party alternatives on the forums? Everyone knows Admob. Any others?

                                    • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                      Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                      So I'm working on integrating a third party Ad SDK...

                                       

                                      What a mess. They clearly don't understand how the view hierarchy is supposed to work. I place an ad at the bottom, after clicking it, there ad autosnaps to the top of the screen. No...you are just a view...you don't set your own frame...I will layout my own subviews....okay....

                                       

                                      The quality of free apps will def. go down the tubes with iAd gone. Too many messy ad platforms out there. The entire platform will suffer. I bet.

                                        • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                          KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                                          Between their ad blocker and now getting out of the mobile ad biz, you'd think apple is out to kill online advertising all together...

                                           

                                          And wouldn't that be sweet.

                                            • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                              Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                              I don't think it'd be that sweet. People who put free quality content on the internet need opportunities to make money. I generally don't like TV commercials, or radio commercials. Everything can't be on pay-per-view though.


                                              Yea, there are so many awful ad providers out there, but iAd was one of the good ones. Ads weren't intrusive, they looked good, and because Apple made them you knew the ads weren't going to do something sketchy. Ads will be there, one way or another, it is just going to be somebody else's ads now and third parties have their own agendas.

                                               

                                              These ads I'm testing with, when I click on them, they move all over the place, they open Safari and start a bunch of redirects...a huge quality loss.

                                               

                                              Apple makes boat loads of money selling pricey hardware that comes with cheap software (much of it free)...you'd think they have a vested interest in incentivizing app development.

                                               

                                                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                  KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                                                       >Yea, there are so many awful ad providers out there

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Right. And I think Apple's failure to succeed in the space proves the point that as always, ads devolve into a chase to the bottom.

                                                   

                                                  If Apple's ad efforts had been driven by anything but greed, they may have been able to prove me wrong. Many devs trusted Apple to behave differently and here we are today, lamenting something that failed to match expectations. The entire mobile ad biz needs to be thrown out and re-invented if it is ever going to satisfy vendors, users _and_ devs. I'm not holding my breath.

                                                    • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                      Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                                      It is pretty surprising that out of all the apps using iAd, that it was not profitable for Apple..or maybe just not profitable enough for them.

                                                       

                                                      If I don't find a decent ad SDK, I'll probably end up pulling all my free apps from the store. I'm sure I'll find something reasonable... The SDK I checked out today, some people said paid well...their API is pretty bad. The ads don't look bad, it is how they behave when you click them that I don't like. Totally over stepping their bounds, by having a the banner position itself in my layout, overriding my code. And they have a connection into my app, to show whatever they want in between app updates....the ads have to behave themselves. Might just use them for interstitials.

                                                        • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                          KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                                                          Not sure it was about simply being profitable (like Apple needs more). Profit never stood a chance the way Apple went about it. They could have made money if they wanted to. Instead, their goal was to make it about themselves so they could impress investors and sway suppliers away from competitors.

                                                           

                                                          To begin with, Apple priced the entry and premium level ad packages extremely high. Where advertisers were used to entry fees of USD$150k, Apple wanted millions. And this was without any track record, which would be key even if the pricing was reasonable.

                                                           

                                                          Vendors kept demanding to know what they could expect in terms of click-thrus, etc. before taking the plunge, but Apple still couldn't provide that info (not a surprise when a program is struggling to gain traction)...sort of like a take-or-leave it, build it and they will come approach.  A few ad vendors toe-dipped, devs trusted the promises and waited, Apple tried token discounts that weren't nearly deep enough and finally, saner heads threw in the towel.

                                                           

                                                          And yes, 3rd party ad APIs sock. I'm tired of apps that push ads regardless of where you tap on the screen, forcing you to jump thru hoops just to get back to the app. Such antics have only succeeded in training users, as an example, to avoid 'free' apps that pummel them with endless ads. Devs that effort treating their users with respect end up with an uphill battle now, which is clearly not worth fighting in the current mobile ad climate.

                                                    • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                      Southmind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                      I think the same.The next step is to ban apps with ads

                                                        • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                          Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                                          If they ban apps with ads all together, the App Store will lose a lot of its inventory and developers. People don't want to work for free. I think banning ads, for the fun of it, would a sign of self-destructive behavior...at least the way things stand now.

                                                           

                                                          iAds did not compromise the user experience  for free apps. There is a place for advertising. With tvOS out now, that platform seems like it would be a natual fit for video ads in free apps. More and more, we are asked to develop for more hardware, without opportunities to make more revenue. Now if you get on the features list and you have a paid app sell a bazillion copies, you probably don't care much about this news. I wouldn't.

                                                            • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                              Southmind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                              I totally agree with you, but at this time we don't know what to do and where we go. I was on the point to release a new app but stopped the development to analyse some other Ads solutions than iAds. (because me too, I don't want to work for free !). I would like to continue with iAds but without team to manage our paiements (who will be in charge to sell the "new" Ads and distribute the revenue ?) I don't undestand the business model... I don't really  see Apple promoting our free app on Appstore and distributing 100% of revenue to the developers ... I hope to be wrong !

                                                                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                  Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                                                  The chances of Apple promoting your app is very small to begin with unless you have already impressed them and had a featured app.


                                                                  I'm experimenting with a third party ad service in one of my apps...which I will be updating soon... not really because I want to, but because I have to. I'll see how it goes.

                                                                   

                                                                  If indeed ads just get banned from the platform all-together, and there is no possible way to make money off free apps in the App Store (iAP aside...when you use it to "unlock features" your basically not selling a truly free app anymore) most developers will simply stop making free apps. Some will to cross promote other apps, but there will be a decline in free apps for sure. I find it unlikely that a system wide ban on advertising will happen...but you never know. If this was the policy from the start okay.... but to allows ads in apps for years with what? A half of millions or more apps out there with ads generating however many millions for developers, to just take that whole revenue stream away from everybody and not expect an exodus?

                                                                   

                                                                  I guess Apple has decided it is not worth there time to manage an ad network. Usually they are pretty strict on controlling things related to user experience. You'd think as long as they weren't losing boat loads of money every year, they'd keep it around to incentivize app development and to control the user experience. Maybe running iAd requires more overhead than I realize (and they were losing boat loads of money every year?)...Many apps will now get loaded up with ads from providers that do not care one bit about the customer or the platform.

                                                                   

                                                                  I'd say try one of the third party ad services out there. I did Admob awhile ago and they practically give you no revenue, so I wouldn't try them. I'm thinking of using Vungle for video ads.

                                                                    • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                      Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                                                      Just wanted to follow up and mention that one of my apps, which is decently popular has been getting hit with 1 star reviews since I switched Ad networks. The new ad network I use aggressively shows ads...interstitials and whatnot. I use a timer to show interstitials only after a certain amount of time has passed in an update....but there are still people crying.

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm getting about the same revenue as I was getting with iAd, but of course this requires more effort, and an overall decline in the user's experience. And yeah..users can remove the ads for 99 cents..but that doesn't stop cheapskates from complaining about ads..like everything should be free. Let me  go to where they work and see if they'll give me one of their products for nothing. Guess I should just make Mac apps.

                                                                       

                                                                      Also can someone please explain why iAd Producer was just updated if iAd is being terminated?

                                                                        • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                          mbrady Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                                                                          >Also can someone please explain why iAd Producer was just updated if iAd is being terminated?

                                                                           

                                                                          iAd will still be a thing with the News app.

                                                                          • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                            KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                                                                                 >Also can someone please explain why iAd Producer was just updated if iAd is being terminated?

                                                                             

                                                                            Serving ads, and marketing served ads, are two different things. iAd is the mechanism by which ads are served.

                                                                             

                                                                            Up to now, it was used exclusively to serve ads that Apple had contracted for. Simplified example: Audi negotiated ad fees with Apple. Apple provided the tools to the dev. The dev's iAd configured app served Audi ads.

                                                                             

                                                                            Apparently going forward the tools/iAd Producer will still work (waiting for WWDC 2016), but the guess is they will deliver self-serve ads that the dev will buy directly from ad vendors. I expect Apple to set themselves up to facilitate such a scheme, same as Amazon and others.

                                                                              • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                                Macho Man Randy Savage Level 3 Level 3 (385 points)

                                                                                >Serving ads, and marketing served ads, are two different things. iAd is the mechanism by which ads are served.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Well, that fact doesn't require all that much of an explanation. I guess what I was asking is if there could be a little more transparency with us (developers) about what is going on. Besides Apple's official announcement that iAd is "discontinued" all other reports about what iAd will be rolled into (News only, self-serve ads) have been vague. I know WWDC is the place where everything gets revelead but is what will happen to a boring Ad network really such a secret that details can't be shared with developers now?

                                                                                 

                                                                                Dat's all.

                                                                                  • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                                    KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,305 points)

                                                                                    My guess is they don't have anything new to say to the dev community.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Investors, on the other hand, have more leverage - the next quarterly report is due last week in April. Not sure those are as forward looking as the annual reports later in the year. Nothing in the Jan. '16 report about iAd. Interesting that the iAd stop announcement came out on Jan. 15.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Wouldn't be the first time devs and mushrooms were found occupying the same ground

                                                                                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                                  robglassey Level 2 Level 2 (75 points)

                                                                                  I think iAds are continuing within the News app, and iAd Producer is also used to create widgets for iBooks Author, so even without the iAd Network in apps, there is still a need for it.

                                                                • Re: iAd App Network announcement
                                                                  Orion64 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                                  Do you think Apple is shifting to a similar platform to Amazon underground? Where users pays a monthly fee to download any App for free within the program and developers are paid by amount of minutes the App is used.