It looks like Apple is forging ahead with its iAd revamp by partnering with RTB specialists Rubicon Project, and others, to finally offer programmatic buying.
The news appears to have been released prematurely by Rubicon, as the press release announcing the partnership has since been pulled. However, BusinessInsider has fished a cached copy, which says Rubicon, along with “several other” exchanges, has been selected by Apple to power iAds programmatic solution.
The deal will open-up iAd to Rubicon’s RTB exchange and – for the first time – let advertisers bid programmatically for inventory on Apple’s network. Advertisers have long been annoyed at Apple’s backwardness when it comes to ad buying and this is one of the reasons iAd has been struggling to gain traction in the ad market, with its premium inventory perceived as largely overpriced.
The announcement follows iAd’s roll-out of retargeting features last month, as well as the launch of new ad formats and the expansion of the network’s reach from 16 to 95 countries. Apple certainly appears to be on a mission to bring iAd back into relevancy, even though it may be too little too late.
In the pulled press release, Rubicon’s president Gregory Raifman said:
“We’re thrilled to have been chosen by Apple to help bring automation to iAd’s direct order business and to provide access to premium mobile buyers from around the world. We look forward to providing buyers with access to iAd’s unprecedented audience targeting capabilities and our full-stack direct order automation solution.”
Hopefully we will get official confirmation of the announcement soon, as well as information on the other partners Apple is working with.