Back in 2010, Steve Jobs revealed Apple's new mobile advertising platform iAd. The goal of this new venture into advertising was to make the mobile ads that appeared in iPhone and iPad apps interactive and more stylish.
Apple users would also be able to remain within the current app they were using without being forced out of the app and into their browser. The iAd platform was able to achieve this but it came at a high cost and required advertisers to relinquish power to Apple, which had final say over which ads were approved. The company was also reluctant to share the marketing data they acquired through iAd.
Apple has now decided to take a step back in regard to iAd after six years of running the mobile advertising platform. It is rumored that the company will soon allow publishers to take over the responsibilities of ad creation, sales, and the management of iAd. Apple has already begun to disband the iAd sales force in preparation for the upcoming transfer of leadership and they will most likely receive buyouts. It has also updated the iAd platform to enable publishers to sell their ads through it directly and those who do will be able to keep 100 per cent of the ad revenue generated.
According to data from the firm EMarketer, iAd just had a 5.1 per cent share of the total advertising revenue earned from mobile devices in 2015. This is quite a low percentage when compared to Google's 9.5 per cent and especially to Facebook's 37.9 per cent.
Hopefully this new direction for iAd will give the advertising platform a chance at living up to Jobs' original vision.