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Apple Tries Expanding Its Neglected Ad Platform In Latin America

Apple Tries Expanding Its Neglected Ad Platform In Latin America

Posted by Juan Gavasa on January 14, 2015

Apple's AAPL +0.07% golden touch doesn’t always work.

Introduced in 2010, iAd gives advertisers access to ad space in mobile apps on its iPhones and iPads. So far, the service has managed to only etch out a minor 2.5 percent of the mobile advertising market in the United States last year. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook dominated the market with 37.7 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively, according to research firm eMarketer.

But Apple has been showing signs in the past year that it wants to get serious about this business. And now, Apple is trying to pump up iAd’s presence in Latin America by partnering with Internet Media Services, a Miami-based media and marketing firm that helps companies move into markets in Latin America. A number of other big tech companies–including Twitter, LinkedIn and Spotify–have used IMS to gain traction in the region’s fragmented markets.

Any company wanting to sell ads through Apple’s platform in Latin America will now have to go through IMS.

“Apple has finally decided to make it happen in Latin America,” said IMS CEO Gastón Taratuta in a phone call. “Considering how much the smartphone penetration is constantly growing in the region, they see an interesting opportunity.”

IMS will first be bringing iAd to its top clients in Miami, Brazil and Mexico to try and sell them on Apple’s ad platform. Taratuta thinks that the kind of data Apple can offer advertisers will be appealing to them. iAd can target people based on information it gathers around App Store download habits as well as age, gender and home address. Said Taratuta: “You can have an advertiser like Mercedes Benz look for people who are downloading applications around luxury items and we can tie in advertising based on where you live. That’s unique.”

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