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Apple to switch to free iAd service

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iAd

Apple is reportedly changing its approach to the iAds advertising service, and will allow publishers to use it for free.

Steve Jobs announced iAd six years ago, enabling mobile publishers to display slick, unobtrusive advertisements through a native Apple platform.

Despite numerous improvements in recent years, however, it never really caught on – largely because of the high price Apple charged. Advertisers have to pay Apple a 30% cut of iAd sales.

Publishers have also been put off by Apple's habit of meddling in the process of creating the ads, as well as the company's tight control of resulting marketing data.

Now Apple is preparing to step back from its hands-on stewardship of iAd, according to a new BuzzFeed report. Citing "multiple sources familiar with the company's plans," it's claimed that Apple intends to switch iAd to a free and largely automated ad platform.

This falls in line with Apple's Eddy Cue's recent comments to the WSJ that the company would be releasing a self-service ad platform over the next two months.

This means that Apple won't continue playing a part in creating and selling iAd units. Rather, it will leave this process to the publishers.

As a result, the iAd sales force is reportedly being disbanded, and publishers will keep 100% of the revenue their iAds generate.

Related: iPhone 6S review

Apple's abandoning of its hands-on mobile advertising model could come as soon as this week, claims the report.

In stepping back and making its service free, Apple will hope to finally compete with more popular ad platforms from Google and Facebook.

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