Apple Will Close iAd App Network; AOL May Rebrand

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Crab Apples

In a brusque note posted to Apple’s developer blog on Friday, the company announced the end of its iAd App Network, which will officially sunset on June 30. No new apps will be admitted to the network, though current marketplace members can continue earning revenue until July. The iAd project was a cursed venture from the start, as AdExchanger covered, since Apple’s reluctance to allow brands to capitalize on its users runs contrary to the targeting and data feedback demanded by digital marketers. And you thought Google was a black box.  

The Re-Brand

In an interview with Business Insider, CMO Allie Kline of Verizon-owned AOL suggests that it may make sense to move away from the AOL brand. She tells BI, “I actually don't think there's a bad choice, but we have to make the choice. Are we going to keep the AOL brand or are we going to bring a new brand to market?" Read more.

Ear To The Grindstone

Networks are dying to get some insight into Netflix’s audience numbers, and now a co-op of channels has come out with unauthorized ratings built on a jerry-rigged solution involving paid data volunteers who let it eavesdrop through a Shazam-like mobile app. The company conducting the test, Symphony, launched the project last September. (AdExchanger covered at the time.) Wired reporter K.M. McFarland touches on the new data, which uses “listening” software gathered from a panel of 15,000 users. The streaming platform heavily disputes the data. More.

The Retail Trail

The retail beacon tech company Estimote raised a $10.7 million Series A on Friday, one day after fellow mobile location-targeted retail specialists Foursquare and PlaceIQ revealed their own funding rounds ($45 million and $25 million, respectively). Why so much action in the space? It’s clear from the conversation between Estimote founder Steve Cheney and TechCrunch writer Sarah Perez that these beacon and hyper-targeted mobile players have pivoted sharply into more lucrative terrain, from direct consumer plays (think serving a coupon or push notification to an in-store browser) to more integrated pieces of the retail funnel (inventory management and lead-gen). More.

Taking The Baton

After a sluggish start, NBCU says its ad sales for the upcoming Summer Olympics have kicked into gear. The company’s EVP of sports ad sales, Seth Winters, tells WSJ reporter Steven Perlberg that he expects to exceed the $1.3 billion sold for the London 2012 games (though Brazil is in a more lucrative time zone). Interestingly, TV sales jumped when the company dropped its restrictions on digital sales. “Your linear investment is going to work much harder if there’s an accompanying digital investment with it,” said Winters.

But Wait, There’s More!

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