All use of customer data by Apple requires sign-off by three ‘privacy czars’; debates can take a year
With Apple making very clear how strongly it feels about the privacy of customer data through the FBI case, it’s no surprise that the issue is a hot-button within the company. A Reuters piece shows just how serious Apple is when it comes to guarding personal data.
Any collection of Apple customer data requires sign-off from a committee of three “privacy czars” and a top executive, according to four former employees who worked on a variety of products that went through privacy vetting […] The trio of experts […] are both admired and feared.
One former employee said that debates over whether or not customer data can be used to improve a service usually take at least a month to settle, and some privacy issues are debated for more than a year before a final decision is reached. Key privacy issues are escalated all the way to Tim Cook.
It was a refusal to compromise on privacy that killed one of Apple’s products, says the piece, while others needed to be substantially reworked to achieve privacy sign-off …
Apple launches Apple News Format for all, enabling publishers to deliver rich-media content in the News app [Updated]
Apple is finally rolling out its Apple News Format to all publishers, after an initial announcement at WWDC 2015. The format lets anyone, big or small, create rich multimedia stories within the Apple News app, featuring panoramas, videos, animations and more.
Until today, Apple News Format was limited to exclusive launch partners (like Wired) whilst everyone else had to resort to basic RSS import. Publishers interested in using the format should check out the documentation on Apple’s website.
February update: We have followed up with Apple numerous times since this original post for more clarification and have finally received a firm answer to explain the situation. The whole of the iAd network is going away — developers will not be able to include any ad banners in their apps after June 30. Developers will have to find a new ad company to continue monetizing their apps using ads, as iAd will no longer function. Original story below …
On its developer news blog, Apple has announced that it is closing the iAd App Network on June 30th. Targeted at smaller publishers, the iAd App Network let developers pay reduced rates to feature advertisements for their own App Store apps across the iAd publisher network.
The news follows a report from Buzzfeed that Apple is closing iAd campaign sales and converting all inventory to automated system. Apple says that if developers want to keep advertising on iAd until that time, they have to make a campaign from scratch using iAd Workbench. New apps will not be accepted into the iAd App Network Program.
Report: Apple says it sucks at selling ads, will soon let publishers do the hard work but keep all the revenue
Apple’s rocky iAd advertising platform is about to see some major changes, says Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski. According to the report, Apple plans to dismantle its iAd sales team and stop its role as a middleman between publishers and customers:
While iAd itself isn’t going anywhere, Apple’s direct involvement in the selling and creation of iAd units is ending. “It’s just not something we’re good at,” one source told BuzzFeed News. And so Apple is leaving the creation, selling, and management of iAds to the folks who do it best: the publishers.
Apple is phasing out its iAd sales force entirely and updating the iAds platform so that publishers can sell through it directly.
The big news, Buzzfeed notes, is publishers that play ball will take home 100% of the ad revenue generated rather than a 70/30 split with Apple.
Linda Dong, a former Prototyping Team member at Apple, shared a fascinating blog post this week that highlights an interesting use case for developers and designers using Apple’s iAd Producer app.
Think of it as “advanced Keynote”, or “actually accessible Interface Builder”. Alas the app is meant for not-so-popular content like iAds and iBooks widgets, but it can easily be repurposed to prototype iOS and Mac apps. It handles UI elements, screen flow, and animation really well.
She goes on to explain how you can remove the default iAd UI overlays when using iAd Producer for iOS and Mac app prototyping, while explaining how the drag-and-drop nature of the app makes it easy to use.
Her write-up continues by detailing how iAd Producer incorporates animations that will be familiar to Keynote users, event triggers on objects within apps, supports CSS filters, and even previewing app designs and interactions on real devices for testing.
You can read her full blog post and see some of her work here, and grab iAd Producer from Apple’s developer center if you’re a member. Have you used iAd Producer for any interesting app prototyping or other ways that vary from iAd and iBook widget creation?
Drawbridge is a relatively new company which helps marketers track user data across multiple mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. He joined as COO to help expand the tracking technology to new areas like offering the ability for retailers to show the same online shopping cart to a single customer across multiple devices.
What’s interesting about this move is Crawford’s comments about Apple’s way of doing ads. Going back to those thoughts shared by Tim Cook about not being in the business of harvesting user data for profit, and looking at what Drawbridge does, it’s quite a startling contrast between the two.
With Apple’s new Wallet app in iOS 9, a revamped version of the old Passbook app with a name that better reflects Apple Pay integration, Apple will let marketers send out dynamic offers triggered by location or a user’s interests through iAd. Apple noted the feature on its blog for advertisers explaining that “marketers can reach loyal customers with specific messages that reflect the customers’ interests, or convert a new customer by presenting a reason to try something new.”
Advertisers looking to make automated ad purchases on Apple’s iTunes Radio platform will finally be able to do so thanks to changes the company is rolling out now. While in-app iAds have been available for automated targeting for some time now, audio ads that run on free iTunes Radio accounts have always only been available through Apple’s sales representatives.
Enhanced customer targeting is also being added to the iAd offering. User phone numbers and email addresses can be anonymously compared against advertisers’ in-house data. iAd Workbench will also allow advertisers to target specific segments of the iTunes Radio userbase, utilizing the Customer Match feature that has been available to in-app ads since it was released last year.
As with banners and other iAds, users who opt-out of targeted advertisments will be exempted from the service. While Apple is planning to revamp its Beats Music service later this year, iTunes Radio is expected to remain its own separate product
When Steve Jobs said something was going to happen, it generally did. One notable exception, though, has been Apple’s mobile advertising platform, iAd. Jobs said back in 2010 that it would grab 50% of the mobile ad market; right now, it’s sitting at just 2.6%. That may be about to change after advertising middleman Rubicon announced that automated purchasing of iAds will soon be supported …
Apple has announced that starting today, the iAd platform will be available in 70 new countries, bringing the total number of supported nations to 95.
Today’s expansion is by far the largest the company has ever attempted, and more than triples (in fact, nearly quadruples) the number of available markets. iAd was previously expanded to nine additional European countries earlier this month, which brought the total at the time to 25.
iAd creators should be able to log into Apple’s iAd Workbench web app and start advertising in the new countries immediately.
Apple is reportedly adding the ability to track what users do inside certain apps in order to present them with targeted in-app ads across iOS devices, reports digital media site Digiday.
Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart.
Ad agencies say that Apple has been pitching the new capability since last month …
Apple has announced that iAd is now available in nine additional countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. This means iAd is now available in a total of twenty-five countries spanning North America, Europe and Asia.
Apple announced two changes to its iAd platform today, expanding the reach and available formats of the ad network in an attempt to reel in more advertisers. The first of these changes is support for brand new iAd styles, including those pre-roll videos we’ve all come to know and love on YouTube. Full-screeninterstitial have also been added to the selection, with both new formats detailed in an updated implementation guide.
The company also announced that it starting today the iAd network is available in two new countries: Russia and Switzerland. iAd creators can use the iAd Workbench to update their target audiences to cover these new demographics.
Apple appears to be readying for an UK iTunes Radio launch in the near future. As indicated by this tweet, Apple’s director of iAd Paul Wright has recently been visiting media marketing agencies to discuss iAd in relation to iTunes Radio.
Bloomberg said that Apple was planning to launch in the UK in ‘early 2014’ last October, but so far this has not happened several months into 2014. Although many people have seen iTunes Radio sporadically appear on their devices in recent months, it is has only officially expanded to Australia beyond the US launch alongside iOS 7.
Suing Apple seems to be the thing to do these days. While the company is locked into a furious, seemingly-unending battle with Samsung, another suit has been announced today by two Swiss sister companies called OpenTV and Nagravision.
According to a press release by the The Kudelski Group, the parent company of the two filing suit, OpenTV focuses on software that includes “advanced program guides, video-on-demand, personal video recording, interactive and addressable advertising and a variety of enhanced television applications,” while Nagravision “provides security and multiscreen user experience solutions for the monetization of digital media.”
While the five patents in question aren’t specifically named in the press release, it’s safe to assume that they are related to video playback technologies included in OS X and iOS (both of which are named as infringing in the press release). iAds, iTunes, the App Store, and the Apple TV are also listed.
At the onset of its mobile-ad business, Apple extended olive branches to a select group of brands, promising premier reach. But advertisers pushed back against its pricey offerings. Now, it appears Apple has concluded money in mobile ads comes from a wide net; in short, it’ll look more like Google.
Previously, iAd Workbench users had to at least be enrolled in Apple’s $99/year registered developers program, but now opening an iAd Workbench account will only require an Apple ID which is free to create with any Apple service or device. Ad Age reports that customers using iAd Workbench can choose between payment based on cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impressions, although rates are currently not clear.
In an effort to boost usage of its new streaming music service that launched alongside iOS 7 last fall, Apple is considering changes to iTunes Radio. The Cupertino company is now testing iTunes Radio as a standalone application with iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans. iTunes Radio first arrived as a feature within the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system’s Music application. As a tab in the already-existing Music app, iTunes Radio has not received a promoted presence on iOS, and this likely has deterred growth for the service in terms of advertising revenue and usage…
According to a new report from Ad Age, Apple is planning to offer a new option for how iAds are presented on its iOS platform. The new iAd option will allow included video content to play automatically at full screen rather than being prompted by tapping a more subtle banner. While interstitial iAds are already possible for iAds presented on the iPad meant for use in Newsstand apps, the report claims the new options will target both iPhone and iPad users suggesting the option could debut for iPhone and iPod touch users. The report believes the automatically playing, full screen interstitial iAds will likely be presented in between activity rather than interrupting content entirely.
Apple is missing out on iAd sales opportunities because the company is too “slow, cocky and downright stingy” according to Madison Avenue media buyers cited in a piece in Advertising Age.
One exec told Ad Age that Apple doesn’t even have official sales targets for its ad business.
Cary Tilds, chief innovation officer for GroupM, said that Apple doesn’t have a big sales team. “It’s not their main focus to tell everyone in the world how amazing advertising in iAd is,” she said. “It’s just not as loud” …
Adweek is reporting that Apple is focusing the iAd sales department almost exclusively on iTunes Radio, rather than developing its in-app ad portfolio, which is how the service originally started. According to the report, Eddy Cue told the advertising unit that iTunes Radio advertisements are a top priority, presumably as Apple is preparing to expand the music service into more countries next year.
AdAge says that Pallad joined Apple about a week ago and is in charge of international iTunes Radio sales. Pallad comes from Cumulus Media, a real-world radio organisation, as their Executive Vice President of Sales. As Apple’s initial round of iAd campaigns for iTunes Radios run out at the end of the year, it seems Apple needed someone versed in radio advertising sales to help setup its deals for 2014.
Apple debuted iAd Workbench in June, allowing developers to more easily purchase and control advertising for their own software through Apple’s iAd platform. Today, the iAd Workbench has been expanded into several additional countries, and is now available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and Italy. App developers in those countries can now login to the Workbench tool and take fine control over how their apps are advertised through iAds.
Advertising can be targeted by age, gender, type of device, and even a user’s most-used app types, such as education or music. Budgeting tools and campaigns starting at only $50 make iAd Workbench much more suited to developers than before. Developers can create their own banners to appear in the ads and use the system’s statistics, which tie in with iTunes Connect, to judge the success of each campaign.
In addition to the iTunes 11.1.1 and OS X 10.8.5 updates, Apple has updated its iAd Producer application. iAd Producer allows Mac users to create ads for deployment via the iAd Network inside of App Store applications. Most notable in today’s update, Apple has now opened up the ability to create ads for display inside of iTunes Radio.
This release contains a number of enhancements and fixes, including:
● Support for creating iTunes Radio ads for iOS devices.
● Simplified, more flexible interface for iAd Blueprints projects.
● Support for creating iAd Blueprints projects that support multiple languages.
● Improved action support in Quick Preview.
● Improved search results in Code Documentation.
● Live asset previews during drag-and-drop.
● Support for grouping and ungrouping views.
● CSS class auto-completion in the Object Inspector.
● Support for taking photos and using the front-facing camera.
● Accessibility improvements for exported content.
● Music video support in iTunes LP content
● Other bug fixes and improvements.
Apple is looking to double the amount of personnel on its in-house marketing and advertising team, according to a report from AdAge. Currently, according to the report, the team includes 300 employees, but Apple is said to be looking to increase that number to between 500 and 600 people.
Apple, in recent years, has reportedly been resilient to growing the team because of a philosophy created by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs: