In recent months, Apple has limited the data that advertisers like Facebook can collect on iPhone users — but could Apple be expanding its own advertising services?
A report from Bloomberg suggests that it may be in the process of expanding search-driven advertising to its own pre-installed apps, including maps, books and podcasts.
The report says in Maps, which can show recommendations when users search for nearby restaurants or shops, Bloomberg reported.
The report suggests that new ads could soon appear on Apple TV+.
Bloomberg writes, “The only question is whether customers of Apple — a champion of privacy and clean interfaces — are ready to live with a lot more ads.”
Apple already displays ads in some of its pre-installed apps such as News and Stocks, as well as ads in the App Store.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote: “Apple will also soon expand ads to the main Today tab and on third-party app download sites.”
“Search ads in the App Store are a little different: Developers can pay to have their app appear in results when a user searches for terms like ‘car racing’ or ‘basketball,’ for example.
Bloomberg suggests that this form of search advertising could be extended to apps such as maps, books and podcasts.
Bloomberg writes: “I think the iPhone maker will eventually expand search ads to Maps.
“It will also likely add them to digital storefronts like Apple Books and Apple Podcasts.”
“And TV+ can generate more multi-tiered advertising (just as Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. do with their streaming services).
Companies like Facebook were hit hard by Apple’s “App Tracking Transparency” feature, which allows users to block advertisers from tracking them across different applications.
Analysts predicted the company could see a $12 billion loss from the feature.
Apple’s Tim Cook said: “We believe users should have a choice over the data collected about them and how it is used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will only require that they ask your permission first.”
Apple says it defends privacy rights, but the company has faced criticism from Facebook, app developers and startups whose business models rely on ad tracking.
The April 2021 software update allowed users to decide which apps can track user activity — crucial information that helps companies like Facebook deliver tailored ads to users and measure their impact.
Analysts predicted that the launch of the feature could mean that Apple would move into the advertising market.
RBC analyst Brad Erickson said in October 2021: “We see (changes in privacy) as a sign
that Apple might want to compete in global advertising.”
Erickson suggested that Apple may use the privacy changes as “cover” while it invests in a Google-style search engine.
He said, “(Apple) can use data protection as cover while it invests in a search algorithm behind the scenes.”
See: Apple to increase ads across integrated apps