There are more signs that Apple is aggressively expanding its ad business. In today’s edition of Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter, Gurman says that Apple VP Advertising Platforms Todd Teresi aims to bring annual revenue into the ‘double digits’, up from about $4 billion-per-year today. That means (at least) a tripling of its current ad business is in sight.
Gurman says that Apple has already tested adding sponsored results to search results in the Maps app, similar to the App Store Search Ads program. Ads could also possibly start appearing in the Apple Books and Apple Podcasts storefronts in future.
Apple ads revenue currently comes from a handful of sources; App Store Search Ads, ads in Apple News and Apple Stocks (the news sections), and a share of commercials during MLB Friday Night Baseball streams.
In addition to bringing ads to other stock apps, Apple has already announced that customers will start seeing more ads in the App Store. New ad units in iOS 16 will allow advertisers to place ads on the Today tab in the App Store, and at the bottom of product pages for other apps.
As growth from Apple hardware sales has slowed over the last five or so years, Apple has continued to expand into the money-making opportunities of its services divisions, including ads. Apple first entered the ads business under CEO Steve Jobs with the announcement of iAd in 2010, which would see developers place Apple banner ads — instead of offerings from Google AdMob and others — in their apps. iAd was mostly a failure, and was discontinued several years later.
Apple has been criticized for expanding its own advertising business whilst crippling the third-party ad market with privacy features such as App Tracking Transparency. At a customer level, Apple risks its premium brand reputation if it goes too far with inserting ads into the user experience of its premium devices.
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