Search ads in the App Store
As of the 5th of October, brands can advertise their apps to targeted audiences within the US App Store. This allows advertisers to target devices, keywords, demographics and geographical locations. They can also re-market to brands’ existing customers and those who have already downloaded another one of their apps. There are several other elements of control available such as ad scheduling and metadata.
Apple will work to ensure users only see ads when they are relevant to search terms, no matter how much an advertiser is willing to pay. Additionally, Apple will focus on user privacy and tracking because users are not profiled based on their search queries. They also state that they will not use any other Apple-owned data from other apps to deliver ads to the user.
In conjunction with these ads, there will be the Search Ads Attribution API to provide performance metrics based on keywords, demographics, location and date. The pricing model of this activity is by cost-per-tap. Thus, Apple will only bill an advertiser when a user taps through to the app page or installs.
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This is the latest update from Apple which tries to keep Apple customers within their ecosystem. The launch is reinforced by the action of allowing ad blockers since iOS 9 to block ads within Safari. Seemingly, Apple is attempting to get a monopoly over ad space on consumers’ iPhone screens. As well, this approach is similar to Google’s App store ads launch last year. It is surprising that Apple is following Google’s lead given their desire to be the more innovative developers in the industry. This update adds complexity to the constantly evolving search landscape and creates new opportunities for app advertisers who wish to align with Apple’s audience.