Apple may be a $2 trillion dollar company that makes some of the most sought-after products anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s not always looking for new sources of revenue. And it appears to have found it: ads.
Apple has recently begun running display ads in its News and Stocks apps, and it doesn’t matter if you subscribe to News+ or not. We still saw ads in the Stocks app’s news feed even if though it’s marked with the same “Subscriber Edition” label that appears in News. Apple is using its own advertising platform to deliver the ads, which are obvious but not terribly intrusive and marked with a small “Ad” in the lower right corner. We received ads for Motley Fool and Brilliant Earth jewelry while writing this article.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, advertising VP Todd Teresi is now reporting directly to Apple services head Eddie Cue with a mission to increase Apple’s annual advertising revenue from $4 billion to more than $10 billion. However, Gurman doesn’t think Apple will tread into the territory of the failed iAd system that served up ads for third-party apps in other iOS apps.
Apple says the platform does not track users and is thus not part of the App Tracking Transparency pop-up. Apple’s Advertising terms state that the platform “is designed to protect your privacy and does not follow you across apps and websites owned by other companies. That “other companies” bit is key: According to Gurman, Apple “uses data from its other services and your Apple account to decide which ads to serve.”
That’s likely to rankle third-party app developers, who have been struggling with lost revenue since Apple launched the ATT system in iOS 14.5. Major developers such as FaceBook have blamed Apple for billions of in lost revenue due to the inability to track uses outside of their own apps. Apple’s compliance is something of a loophole since they own numerous apps and services that are preinstalled on every iPhone.
However, while there’s no Do Not Track toggle, users can turn off personalized ads on their iPhone by heading over to the Apple Advertising tab in the Privacy & Security settings on the iPhone. That won’t turn them off, it’ll only make them more generalized.
Gurman speculates that the ads, which can also be seen in the App Store’s Today tab, will be coming to Maps next and “digital storefronts like Apple Books and Apple Podcasts.” He also speculates that Apple TV+ could be an avenue for ads, as Apple has already begin advertising for Friday Night Baseball and regularly promotes its other shows before new epidodes begin.