Advertisers participating in Apple's iAd platform appear to be going for a slightly older demographic, a move that's affected revenues for several developers with ad-supported games aimed at kids.
As picked up by MacStories, developer Michael Zornek, who makes Dex--a Pokemon-themed application--recently noticed a sharp drop-off in fill rate, or the percentage of ad requests that actually produce ads when they're called for by an application. Over the weekend, for instance, Zornek saw that rate drop down to zero. Curious about the drop, Zornek e-mailed Apple's iAd support and was told advertisers had withdrawn from apps aimed at young children.
"We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers," a reply from Apple's iAd support said. "Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience."
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr confirmed to CNET that it was the company's policy to keep iAds off apps targeted at children. "We pulled iAds from this app," Neumayr said. "Our policy is that we don't serve iAd into apps for kids."
In a post about the matter on Zornek's blog, the developer says he's peeved that Apple did not alert him, and others with children's apps, to let them know about the changes. He's since removed iAds from the app entirely, and now uses Google-owned AdMob along with an in-app purchase option that buyers can use to get rid of advertising entirely. The change has also kept him from including iAds in one of his upcoming iOS apps. … Read more