Apple Ad Exec aims to more than double ad revenue with new ads for iOS

Apple's headquarters as seen in Apple Maps.
Enlarge / Apple’s headquarters as seen in Apple Maps.

Samuel Axon

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple plans to significantly increase its ads business and has already internally evaluated the possibility of adding ads to the iPhone’s Maps app, with other potential additions on the horizon.

The shift may be partly caused by a recent change in the company’s reporting structure, Gurman wrote in his Email Newsletter this week that Apple Advertising Vice President Todd Teresi began reporting directly to Apple Services Head Eddie Cue a few months ago. He also wrote that Teresi plans to grow Apple’s advertising revenue from $4 billion annually to double-digit billions.

As Gurman notes, advertising is already part of Apple’s strategy, but it’s limited in scope and location. The most traditional ads you’ll see in an Apple-made app are those in the Stocks and News apps. You’ll see display ads there, just like news sites, both outside and inside stories.

Apple also operates a robust ad business on its App Store, which allows developers to pay for prime positions on search results pages. And the company recently ventured into ads within its Apple TV service, but only within Friday Night Baseball.

However, according to Gurman, there will be new frontiers for Apple’s displays. For example, ads in the App Store will expand beyond search results to the curated Today homepage and individual app listing pages.

And Apple can also bring advertising into the Podcasts and Books apps, or even expand TV advertising beyond sports content with new subscription tiers at the Hulu or Disney+.

Apple has been in the advertising business in one way or another for a long time, but not all of its initiatives in this space have been successful. In 2010, Apple introduced iAd, a network that third-party app developers could use to serve ads in their own applications. Apple iAd discontinued in 2016and other companies’ ad networks became the go-to place for iPhone and iPad app developers.

More recently, Apple has thwarted the plans of many of these ad networks by launching them App tracking transparency Policy requiring all third-party apps to obtain users’ permission before using certain tracking methods that aggregated and cross-referenced those users’ data across multiple apps.

Apple’s own apps don’t use these specific tracking methods and therefore don’t need to show the same permission prompts.

Neither Apple nor the Bloomberg newsletter said if Apple plans to change course as its offering expands again.