Apple said to eye more ad revenue via App Store ad inventory

Apple is reportedly looking to expand its advertising business by opening up a second advertising slot on its App Store, according to Financial Times (FT). Quoting its sources, FT said the second advertising slot will be located in the "suggested" apps section in the search page of the App Store. The new feature is said to be rolled out by the end of April, and will enable advertisers to promote their apps across the whole Apple network, instead of just specific searches. Apple declined to comment on MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's queries.

Currently, Apple offers an advertising slot on top of its search results in its App Store. According to its official website, Apple Search Ads is said to be an "efficient and easy way" to help people discover advertisers' app at the top of App Store search results. A quick check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE shows that if users look for "online shopping", Shopee will turn out to be the top ad in the results page. Meanwhile search for the term "taxi" sees Traveloka appearing as the top ad. 

Apple's possible ad business expansion comes as it is rolling out its new privacy feature next week. Last year, Apple announced that developers will be required to get users' permission before tracking them via the identity for advertisers (IDFA) and users can change permission preferences in their settings. This will come in the form of a prompt when Apple users access different apps on its devices. Developers will also self-report their privacy practices, including data collected by the developer and used to track consumers across companies. IDFA is the individual and random identifier used by Apple to identify and measure iOS user devices. 

The change in privacy settings has Facebook claiming that it will hurt small businesses and force them to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue. In a blog post first published last December and subsequently updated in February this year, Facebook said although it disagrees with Apple's approach, it has decided to comply with Apple to "ensure stability for the businesses and people who use its services".

Following Apple's release of iOS 14.5, Facebook will implement new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols. Advertisers can expect to see changes in Facebook’s business and advertising tools set up, audience selection, delivery, measurement, and reporting. For example, app advertiser will need to run iOS 14 mobile app install advertising within one ad account and will be limited to nine campaigns per app; and if they use web events to optimise and measure their campaigns, they will be limited to optimising for no more than eight events on each domain that they own. 

Separately, social media platform TikTok has also tweaked its ad solutions in light of Apple's upcoming privacy changes. From April 26 onwards, TikTok said in a blog post that the only way for advertisers to target iOS 14.5 users for app install ads will be through TikTok's iOS 14 dedicated campaigns offering. This feature is available for all advertisers, and campaigns can be created by choosing the app install objective or catalogue sales objective with app prospecting, selecting the iOS app, and setting the toggle for "Deliver to iOS14+ conversion events" to "on" at the ad group level. "We recommend advertisers start creating these new iOS 14 dedicated campaigns and be ready to scale budgets to minimise any disruption reaching iOS 14 traffic for app campaigns," TikTok said. 

Related Articles:
Analysis: ID that binds the industry: Impact of iOS 14 privacy efforts on brands
Facebook gives in to Apple's privacy update, bites back with own prompt
Analysis: Google’s privacy promise is great for consumers, but what about SMEs?
FB shouts about personalisation perks as Apple clamps down on privacy