Apple is looking to significantly grow its ad business, according to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, and has already internally explored adding ads to the iPhone’s Maps app, with other potential expansions also on the horizon.
The change may be due in part to a recent change within the company’s reporting structure: Gurman wrote in his electronic newsletter this week that Apple’s vice president of advertising, Todd Teresi, began reporting directly to Apple’s chief services officer, Eddie Cue, a few months ago. He also wrote that Teresi plans to boost Apple’s ad revenue from $4 billion annually to double-digit billions.
As Gurman points out, advertising is already part of Apple’s strategy, but it’s limited in scope and in certain places. The most traditional ads you’ll see in an Apple-made app are those for the Stocks and News apps. There, you’ll see display ads just like the ones you see on news websites, both outside and inside stories.
Apple also has a strong ad business within its App Store, allowing developers to pay for prime positions in search results listings. And the company recently ventured into ads within its Apple TV service, but only within Friday Night Baseball.
But there will be new frontiers for Apple ads, according to Gurman. For example, on the App Store, ads will expand beyond search results to the selected Today home page and individual app listing pages.
And Apple may also bring ads to the Podcasts and Books apps, or even expand TV ads beyond sports content with new subscription levels. a the Hulu or Disney+.
Apple has been in the ad business for a long time, in one form or another, but not all of its initiatives in this area have been successful. In 2010, Apple introduced iAd, a network that third-party app developers could tap into to run ads within their own apps. Apple iAd discontinued in 2016and other companies’ ad networks became favorites of iPhone and iPad app developers.
More recently, Apple scuppered many of those ad networks’ plans by introducing the Application Tracking Transparency policy, which required all third-party apps to ask users for permission before using certain tracking methods that collected and cross-referenced those users’ data across multiple apps.
Apple’s own apps don’t use those specific tracking methods, so they don’t have to display the same permission prompts.
Neither Apple nor the Bloomberg bulletin said whether Apple plans to change course by expanding its own offerings again.
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