Apple is essentially abandoning its six-year foray into the ad business, getting rid of the direct sales force it used to sell ads in its iAd platform and turning the platform over to publishers, reports John Paczkowski at Buzzfeed.
Apple launched iAd in 2010 as a way for companies to buy interactive ads within iPhone and iPad apps. But it never took off, and a source told Buzzfeed that the decision was a long time coming.
iAd won’t die, but instead it’s turning into a self-serve platform, so publishers will be responsible for creating, selling, and managing ads, and will keep all the revenue from them.
Microsoft has been making a similar move away from advertising over the last year, turning over its direct sales force to AOL, and selling various other platform technologies to companies like Facebook and ad tech company AppNexus, although it’s still heavily involved .
The takeaway? Last decade, a lot of old line tech companies looked at Google’s success and concluded that they, too, needed an online ad component. Now, they’re realising that it’s a harder business than they thought, and they’re going back to focus on their core.