Apple’s next big thing: More in-app ads?

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If you don’t regularly check your inventory or download lots of new apps, you may not be aware of Apple’s advertising efforts. But that could soon change.

The company currently displays ads in its News and Stocks apps, as well as in the App Store. According to Bloomberg(Opens in a new window)however, Apple plans to expand its advertising network in a bid to push its annual revenue from $4 billion a year into double digits.

“I think the iPhone maker will eventually extend search ads to Maps,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote in a weekend newsletter, citing internal testing of the feature. Like Yelp, which highlights ads at the top of search results, a Mexican restaurant, for example, could buy a top spot on Apple Maps’ taco listing.

Likewise, publishers can pay to have their work appear higher in digital storefronts like the Apple Books and Apple Podcasts apps, or on an ad-supported TV+ tier. Gurman credits the broader push to Todd Teresi, Apple’s vice president of advertising, who now reports directly to services chief Eddy Cue, his former boss during the days of Apple’s now-defunct iAd network.

Apple has long emphasized privacy, which may make an expansive ad network seem like an odd choice, especially in light of its big push for application tracking transparency (ATT). Introduced in late 2020 for iOS 14.5, ATT allows users to block apps from recording activity on other platforms, much to the chagrin of ad-focused rivals like Facebook.

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Why doesn’t Apple push permission popups for its own apps like it does with ATT? Because, Apple says, its system “doesn’t track you through apps and websites owned by other companies,” according to Gurman.

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