Apple Search Ads grows during App Tracking Transparency push

in General Discussion
Apple's in-house advertising arm, Search Ads, appears to be benefiting from Apple's privacy push in 2021, with the business growing in market share at a time when rival advertising firms are having trouble targeting advertising at potential customers.

Apple's introduction of App Tracking Transparency has certainly impacted the advertising business, prompting an immediate drop in revenue for an industry that relied on tracking ad viewers between apps and websites. Months later, it appears that the changes have been beneficial to Apple's bottom line.

According to mobile marketing analysts speaking to the Financial Times, Apple's Search Ads have seen a dramatic rise in usage, becoming responsible for 58% of all iPhone app downloads, versus 17% one year ago. In terms of revenue, it is reckoned Apple could earn $5 billion from advertising in 2021, rising to $20 billion a year within three years.

"It's like Apple Search Ads has gone from playing in the minor leagues to winning the World Series in the span of half a year," said Branch product marketing head Alex Bauer. Meanwhile, researchers at Evercore ISI say Apple's privacy initiatives have "significantly altered the landscape" of online advertising.

It is thought that Apple's ATT program that opted users out from online advertising left rival firms operating "blind," said ad analytics firm Kochava's Grant Simmons. While ad firms are stuck with a 72-hour delay on ad data, which is also provided only in aggregate form, Apple's own advertising service is said to offer a greater level of detail.

This disparity led to one unnamed mobile advertising executive to claim Apple had "given itself a free pass" since it's "not subject to the same policy that every other ad network is."

Furthermore, there is the claim by SpotHero chief marketing officer Chris Stevens that the advertising system's ability to focus ads on users didn't correlate with Apple's privacy rhetoric, such as the "retargeting" tool used to let companies follow users for future re-engagement.

Apple was also "unable to validate" that its system complies with Apple's own policy, Stevens added. "Despite multiple requests and trying to get them to confirm that their products are compliant with their own solutions, we are unable to get there."

In a statement to the report, Apple insisted its privacy features were aimed at protecting users. The technologies are part of one comprehensive system designed to help developers implement safe advertising practices and protect users - not to advantage Apple," the company said.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 5
    I smelled incoming lawsuits.  
  • Reply 2 of 5
    Statistics and percentages are always a good way to lie.

    If you eat a chicken and I eat none… percentage will tell that ‘each one ate 50% of the chicken’… while you are full and I am hungry!

    The change from 17% to 58% was due to a real gain by Apple or just by a reduction of the total ad market in iOS?

    If the total ad market went down to 30% of last years, 58% of the 30% is equal to 17% of last year 100% ad ,arlet.

    Remember: Blaming Apple brings pageviews to your site/blog!
  • Reply 3 of 5
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,404member
    This proves that:

    a. You don’t need tracking and nefarious data collection to be successful at advertising, and
    b. The companies that do that will slowly lose favour with advertisers who realise they get better results without violating and annoying their targets.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    If I was a serious app developer, I would revolt. The time I see scammy apps advertise above a well-known app when I search for that apps name is about 50/50 now.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    The analysis, and this article, makes the mistake of assuming Apple is pulling in more usage as a result of its increase in % market share.  

    Apple's Search Ads have seen a dramatic rise in usage, becoming responsible for 58% of all iPhone app downloads, versus 17% one year ago.”

    Just because Apple’s share of the pie has increased so dramatically, it doesn’t mean that usage has increased. It’s far more likely that the pie has simply gotten smaller. 

    People likely aren’t clicking on Apple’s search ads more today than they were last year as a result of ATT. It’s just that the mobile ad market as a whole has shrunk now that Apple’s cut off a key part of it. 

    So yes, Apple undoubtably enjoys a greater share of what’s left. And yes, there’s absolutely debate to be had about whether that’s fair. But it doesn’t mean Apple’s ad usage is increasing. . 
    edited October 18 watto_cobra
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