Apple’s tough stance on the adverts created for its iAd platform has left it with just a handful of live ads, despite 17 firms signing up to the service.
Ad agencies say development has been held up due to Apple’s involvement in the creative process, resulting in just two ads being live on the mobile advertising platform for the bulk of July, WSJ.com reports.
Although the tally has now hit five, agencies say it is taking eight to ten weeks to see an advert through from concept to completion – far longer than on competing mobile ad platforms – with Apple’s involvement adding at least two weeks to the process.
Apple’s platform launched in the US on July 1, designed to deliver in-app adverts on content downloaded from the firm’s App Store.
Developers receive up to 60% of the revenues generated, WSJ.com said.
Nissan, one of the five companies now running ads, said the service garnered a click-through rate five times higher than a similar online ad campaign, however launch-partner Chanel told the news site it has no plans to create an iAd in the near future.
Research firm eMarketer predicts the mobile advertising market will be worth $593 million this year. With Google set to launch its AdMob service this autumn, Apple won’t have the space to itself for much longer.
Apple might fend off the competition by adding a mobile payments element to iAd, with speculation rife that the firm is set to launch an NFC-based solution in a matter of months.
The rumor mill has gone into overdrive since Apple hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier to handle product development for mobile commerce late last week. The firm has also submitted several NFC-related patents in recent months.
The New York Times speculates that Apple could use NFC to offer information or coupons on nearby products. Airline ticketing services and mobile payments handled through iTunes are also shaping up as likely services, based on the content of Apple's patent applications.
Mobile payments could prove a lucrative area for Apple regardless of the involvement of iAd.
Generator Research forecasts mobile payments will be worth $633.4 billion (€491 billion) by 2014, up from $68.7 billion today, while Juniper pegs its estimate at $630 billion by 2014.