Mobile Marketing Becoming More Affordable Through Apple’s iAd Platform

Mobile marketing sticker shock has prompted Apple to dramatically slash the buy-in entry rate for the company’s iAd mobile advertising platform.

On Wednesday, Apple confirmed that the the iAd buy rate has been slashed by half.

Effectively immediately, Apple’s former $1 million minimum advertising threshold has been reduced to $500,000, as the Cupertino, California-based tech giant looks to attract mid-sized advertisers into its digital ad program for the first time.

“This new minimum buy is a great step forward and a necessary one, I think,” Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital, the digital arm of global ad giant WPP, tells John Paczkowski of Digital Daily. “Lowering the minimum buy to $500,000 from $1 million will certainly make the platform more appealing.”

Although Apple currently boasts five-dozen “successful” brand campaigns for iAds and a “100 percent renewal rate,” iAds have largely struggled to become the dominant mobile advertising force that Apple CEO Steve Jobs forecast upon the platform’s introduction last year.

Apple’s appetite for mobile advertising became apparent in late 2009 upon the company’s $275 million acquisition of Quattro Wireless. While no one expected iAds to ultimately prove inexpensive, it’s a safe assumption that few advertisers expected them to carry such a hefty price tag.

Perhaps now that access is becoming more affordable, the iAd platform may finally begin to see the type of growth and traction that is certainly possible with this very promising and still largely under-utilized digital advertising tool.