Apple has launched iAd Workbench, a new service that allows developers of all sizes to build ad campaigns to reach their target demographics. iAd started as a massively expensive service that was priced out of the reach of many developers, with the minimum for an advertising contract being set at US$500,000 in 2011. The minimum then shrank to $300,000 in July of 2011, and then again to $100,000 in February of 2012. Now with iAd Workbench the minimum to spend on campaigns starts at $50. Apple is obviously rethinking the scope of which developers it wants advertising.
iAd Workbench provides template ads to make ad creation quick and easy for developers. More customization is available for people who want it, but the system is designed for quick generation. Once your ad is created, the service offers targeting options that allow you to pinpoint users by location, previous downloads from iTunes or specific kinds of apps. Want to target people who search for productivity and game apps? They're just a few clicks away.
The customization features allow you to set ad prices based on cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goals, along with setting daily spending limits and budgets for your campaign. All of your ads can be managed and checked via a main Dashboard that lets you know your CPC, CPA, installs and total spent. The service also comes with customizable analytics for tracking your apps progress from month to month.
With dramatically lowered prices Apple has just taken away a major barrier of entry for indie developers to advertise their apps. It will be interesting to see how this change will effect ads for iOS in the future.
Here's a video about the new service. iAd Workbench is available now.