For the first time, Apple (AAPL) is opening up its struggling ad service to anyone with an Apple ID, not just developers.
As Business Insider wrote last summer, the buy-in price for Apple’s iAds has fallen from over $1 million in 2010 to just $50.
But there aren’t many non-coders who think to register with Apple’s developer program. There isn’t much a reason to: if you aren’t making apps, it pretty much only gets you beta versions of iOS for your phone.
So starting Tuesday, Apple is letting anyone use Apple’s iAds Workbench to create an ad campaign that’ll show up in apps on the iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s hoping that opening up its ad program to anyone will give it the kind of reach Google (GOOG) has had with AdWords, which is accessible enough for even small business owners and hobbyist bloggers to use to promote their services and content.
By expanding the program to anyone with an Apple ID, the company has opened the door to roughly 600 million potential users.
But Apple isn’t just addressing the low-end of the market with changes to iAds. As Ad Age’s Mark Bergan reports, ads can now feature short video clips and can link to iTunes content and websites, not just other apps.
That should make the platform more appealing for advertisers looking to spend big money to sell content, like major film studios.
In addition, Apple’s Pandora-like iTunes Radio is still off limits to most advertisers, making it a prime platform for big brands looking to spend money on exclusive campaigns.
Apple is already taking advantage of that exclusivity by offering special sponsorship deals for entire channels. Just last week, American Express (AXP) signed up to be the sole sponsor of iTunes Radio First Play, a station that lets iTunes users hear new music a week early.