©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Apple’s iAds are hitting a rough spot. Across the board, several developers I’ve spoken to confirm that “fill rates” for iAds dropped drastically after the New Year and have yet to recover. The fill rate—what percentage of the ad inventory is actually filled with an ad—for two separate developers plummeted from 18 percent to 6 percent. And in a few instances for some newer apps, none of the ad slots were getting filled, compared to nearly complete fill rates from other mobile ad networks. Others report better fill rates but as one developer says, “They have definitely come down.”
One reason for the dip could be just seasonal. The fill rates and advertising budgets across all ad networks in general take a hit after the holidays. But there seems to be something else going on here as well. “The general consensus among the advertising community is that it is a product they don’t want,” says one mobile ad tech CEO. The iAds business, he suggests, “is hurting.”