Apple confirms lower iAd pricing

Apple on Wednesday confirmed for The Loop that new pricing for developers and advertisers have been implemented on its iAd platform. The changes, according to one media agency executive, could help boost the platform into even more advertising budgets this year.

“There was a premium, but the changes in pricing make it much more attainable,” Adam Shlachter, Managing Director, Digital at MEC, told The Loop.

The changes Apple made were to lower the minimum buy-in for advertisers from $500,000 to $100,000. That’s down from $1 million when the iAd platform was first introduced by Steve Jobs in 2010.

With the higher price some advertisers felt they needed to choose between iAd or another ad buy that covers more platforms. However, with the lower buy-in, iAd could find more companies willing to split their budgets with Apple.

“When price was an issue, it might have been more attractive to go with a simpler, broader solution,” said Shlachter. “However, with the new price and reach of the platform , it becomes more attractive.”

While noting iAd’s limitation of only being available on iOS apps and not for the mobile Web or mobile video, Shlachter did say that iAds has been successful for his clients.

“Engagement with the creatives have been high and better than expected in some cases,” said Shlachter.

Data released by research company eMarketer in January shows that Apple is in second place in mobile display revenue, behind Google. According to its estimates, Apple’s share of display revenues reached 18 percent in 2011.

In terms of total revenue created through iAd, eMarketer estimates that Apple generated about $92.4 million in 2011, again trailing Google.

“While Google remains a leader in mobile display, it’s too early to call the race,” said Noah Elkin, eMarketer principal analyst.

It’s clear that Apple is not giving up on the iAd platform, and with a lower buy-in the company could attract even more business in 2012.