Apple may bring ads to more top apps – even Apple TV Plus

Apple is exploring ways to integrate ads into stock apps on iPhone and iPad, according to a new report.

In his informative Power On weekly newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple wants to significantly increase its ad revenue by leveraging its own apps.

Apple Maps is a particular target, according to the report, with Gurman saying Apple could allow certain companies to pay to top the listings – just as it has on the App Store since 2016.

He writes: “The effort to add search ads to Apple Maps has already been explored internally. Such a feature would likely work similarly to search ads in the App Store. For example, a Japanese restaurant might pay money to rank high on local listings when users search for “sushi”. If you’ve used Yelp, you already see the idea.

It’s a tightrope for Apple given that it’s been able to distinguish itself from Google’s ad-centric business model. While Google Maps has generally been considered the superior navigation app, those who choose Apple’s alternative can be confident that their search results won’t be affected by who paid to top the listings (although marked as such).

It’s also an ethical tightrope for Apple, which has long maintained that its business model isn’t about advertising, but about hardware, services, and putting the user above all other interests. He would argue, as he did for the App Store integration, that the ads are not targeted and simply based on the user’s search.

However, perception matters, and it could be detrimental to Apple if it overdoes it. At the same time, Apple has worked hard to prevent apps like Facebook from tracking users outside of those apps, which has damaged those companies’ ad-centric model.

Gurman also says the company may bring ads to stock apps like Podcasts and Books, as well as integrate them with TV Plus in the future, as it seeks to increase ad revenue. Many streaming services, like HBO Max, Netflix, and Disney Plus have adopted — or are in the process of adopting — ad-supported streaming tiers that cost a little less.

Would you accept a platform financed by Apple TV+? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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