Apple is withdrawing from its ad network business that places ads across multiple mobile platforms in favor of concentrating on its iAd network that works only on Apple devices.
The company has notified advertisers and developers that it is no longer accepting campaigns for the Quattro network and will cease running mobile campaigns through Quattro on Sept. 30. The ad network ran campaigns that stretched across several mobile platforms, including rival Android.
“We believe iAd is the best mobile ad network in the world, and starting next month we’re going to focus all of our resources on the iAd advertising platform,” Quattro states on its Web site.
Instead, Apple is committed to building iAd, a platform for iPhone applications. Apple has slowly rolled out iAd, with The Wall Street Journal reporting delays in getting campaigns up and running, which some agencies peg on Apple’s penchant for control.
Apple’s love of control likely fueled the decision to abandon a large-scale mobile ad network in which Apple couldn’t guide the entire experience. The move also addresses the problem of operating iAd, which charged $10 CPMs and $2 CPCs, alongside Quattro’s far lower rates.
“[Apple] is typically a niche player and they’re positioning themselves as that,” said Paran Johar, CMO of Jumptap, an independent rival mobile ad network. “They’re focused on the ultra high end. They’re abandoning the performance side of things.”
Apple paid $275 million for Quattro early this year. The move to enter the ad business came after Google released its rival Android OS and bought mobile ad net AdMob. Apple’s rationale for owning an ad network was to provide developers with options, other than straight sales, to make money from apps they build for iPhones and iPod Touch devices.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, at the unveiling of iAd, promised the placements wouldn’t “suck” like other mobile ads. Apple is reportedly asking for $1 million commitments to run iAd campaigns.
Shutting Quattro will provide a boost for others, including Google-owned net AdMob, independent networks Jumptap and Millennial Media and mobile ad providers like Crisp Wireless. The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported Apple rival Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, has negotiated to purchase Millennial.