Apple’s iAd platform has undergone some key changes during the past year. The most recent move to shake up the “sleeping beauty” was a partnership with the Rubicon Project, as announced by the latter through a press release yesterday. It has since been removed, but was spotted by Business Insider.
What’s interesting in this specific partnership is what the Rubicon Project has to offer: it is the leader in advertising automation, but is now trying build out its direct advertising offer.
“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,” said Greg Raifman, President, Rubicon Project. “We look forward to providing buyers with access to the unprecedented audience targeting capabilities iAd brings to automated advertising.”
Until this week, advertisers who wanted to reach Apple’s user base, had to make a purchase through the iAd sales team. By partnering up with Rubicon, Apple opened up another door to its marketplace, which speeds up the process, because advertisers will be able eliminate the negotiation process with sales people by booking ads through an online platform.
The move suggests Apple is becoming more open to sharing its data with other providers than ever before. Most advertising platforms with vast amounts of first-party proprietary data are extremely protective of it — it’s the best kind of data because it is validated through user registrations (rather than just being assumed, as per other advertising platforms that have to guess characteristics of a user based on their browsing and purchasing habits), which leads to more precise ad targeting and can be sold at higher rates.
Fact is, Apple has been working on improving the failed advertising arm of its business: it acquired Burstly back in February, announced new premium ad formats, and more recently there were rumours of adding in-app retargeting abilities across iAd.