I was startled this afternoon to log into iTunes Connect (the developer’s portal) and see the following message.
The revenue share for the iAd Network is now 70% to the Developer.
As someone who has recently started making a few bucks using iAds, I know pretty well that we used to only get 60%. However, the skeptic in me said that their had to be a twist.
Historically the iAd campaign has done pretty poorly after the initial hype wore off about two years ago. I noticed within my first week of using iAds on my VCP5 zApp that fill rates were very low. Fill rates is the rate in which the advertiser can fulfill a request for an Ad. Only so many advertisers are willing to pay for advertisement, and it is very easy for a popular App to request too many Ads. Middleman advertisers like Apple in this case generally won’t display an Ad more times than a company is paying for display, so when it runs out of Ads to display, they fill it with other advertisements that Apple wants to feed you. Of course, as a developer, you make nothing off of these Ads. Since fill rates have been low, this means, no one wants to pay Apple to display Ads in Apps, or at least, not as many as they are hoping.
Starting April 1st, the minimum barrier of entry for a company to list an Ad on the iAd network has gone down from $500k to $100k. This is way down from the initial requirement of spending $1 million dollars in ads with Apple, at a minimum. Also, advertisers no longer have to pay Apple for clicks on Ads, only for displaying them (also known as impressions). This has been a common complaint against iAds, and other banner middlemen. Advertisers are forced to pay for displaying ads, and then again when someone clicks on them, often times whether the clicker buys anything or not. To some, this feels like being charged twice.
Now perhaps it makes more sense why developers are getting 70% instead of 60%. We too are no longer getting paid for clicks, just impressions. Will this amount to more money in our pockets? Well, the change happens at midnight, so we shall see!