As mobile usage begins to overtake that of laptops and PCs, companies like Pandora and Spotify have been hard at work revamping mobile advertising in order to increase revenue from digital ads. Pandora, for example, has added hundreds of new hires to its sales teams, while Spotify, keeping with its plans to work more closely with brands, recently released its ad-supported mobile radio service.
Joining the likes of these mobile radio companies, Apple announced this week that the company’s top priority, even above app ads, is iTunes Radio. While the sales team works on promoting Radio overall, Apple is developing a real-time bidding (RTB) exchange to automate selling in-app ads.
Apple’s mobile ad system, iAds, has grown since its launch in 2010 and has been very instrumental in assisting developers with the monetization of their apps. Though most of Apple’s ad revenue has been a result of these in-app ads, the company is very focused on making iTunes Radio a contributor to these profits.
This introduction of real-time bidding to the company’s advertising structure could certainly bring in more advertisers, especially those eager to get more involved with mobile. With reports from eMarketer indicating mobile ad spending will double to $9.6 billion in 2013, Apple has timed this attention to iTunes Radio very well.
Additionally, the RTB could aid in lowering iAds prices, which, upon their initial introduction, started at a whopping $1 million a piece. This shift towards more reasonable pricing would definitely contribute to bringing in new advertisers.
It’s unclear as of right now whether or not the new Apple exchange will be solely available for mobile, as real-time iAds could be offered across all the company’s devices, including Apple TV. Regardless, it’s likely to make an impact in Apple’s ability to compete with Pandora and Spotify in the field of mobile radio.