Though iPhone users chalked up a ton of eCommerce business during this past Black Friday & Cyber Monday, advertisers have never been too keen on Apple’s advertising platform, iAd. The company has tried opening up inventory via programmatic channels after a period of strictly dealing with exclusive advertisers—but, in 2015, lagged behind Google, Facebook, and Twitter for display ad dollars, per eMarketer.
Now, according to a report by Buzzfeed, iAd may be stepping out of the ad sales business entirely; opting instead for publishers to have the option to sell their own inventory to advertisers directly.
The iAd publisher direct sales, which could begin as early as next week, leaves the network’s programmatic business in limbo—though, there’s speculation that this could all be rolled into a self-serve platform.
If you recall, Google AdSense tried a similar publisher-direct sales program back in 2014—a program that came to an end just ten months later. With Google’s program, however, there was no exclusivity; and if Buzzfeed’s speculation is any indication, that may not be the case with iAd publisher direct.
None of this has been confirmed by Apple at this point; but, it’s worth noting that this report has been re-published by numerous outlets today.