Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform has received mixed reviews since launch at the beginning of last month, with reports suggesting that advertisers and publishers are impressed with initial results but some ad campaigns have experienced delays as agencies attempt to learn the new system amid Apple’s tight control over the creative process. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Apple has been slow to roll the service out and is keeping tight control on the creative aspects of ad-making, “something advertisers aren’t used to.” That has reportedly made the creation of the mobile ads laborious, taking about 8-10 weeks from brainstorm to completion – “longer than normal for most mobile ads.” The building of the actual ad, handled by Apple, in some cases is taking two weeks longer than expected, and luxury marketer Chanel, one of Apple’s iAd launch partners, is believed to have dropped all efforts for now.
However, a Los Angeles Times report cites Nissan as stating that customers spent an average of 90 seconds in its iAd, ten times longer than interaction times for comparable online ads. Dictionary.com said the amount it could charge for its ad space has increased 177 percent since it enabled iAd in its iPhone app, and CBS Mobile said the company’s six apps were seeing up to US$25 CPMs (the cost advertisers pay for an ad to appear a thousand times). Meanwhile the CEO of gaming firm Backflip Studios said iAd “has exceeded our expectations thus far.” iAd is the result of Apple’s US$275 million acquisition of Quattro Wireless – a company that makes tools for embedding adverts in applications – in January. iAd is designed to work so that users clicking on mobile ads don’t need to leave their app and view the advertiser’s webpage via a web browser. Instead, iAd claims to display full-screen video and interactive ad content without users having to leave the app. Apple claims that iPhone OS 4 lets developers easily embed iAd “opportunities” within their apps, and developers will receive 60 percent of iAd revenue. In June Apple claimed to have iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over US$60 million, which represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010.