Apple Inc. “is looking to expand its digital-advertising business, people familiar with the matter said, as it shifts its growth strategy beyond selling devices toward pushing services on them,” Tripp Mickle and Georgia Wells report for The Wall Street Journal. “Over the past year, Apple has met with Snap Inc., Pinterest Inc. and other companies about participating in an Apple network that would distribute ads across their collective apps, the people said. Apple would share revenue with the apps displaying the ads, with the split varying from app to app, they said.”

“The move would expand on Apple’s current small-but-growing business selling promotional ads for search terms in its App Store, which delivered nearly $1 billion in revenue last year, they said,” Mickle and Wells report. “Under the concept discussed internally and raised with potential partners, users searching in Pinterest’s app for ‘drapes’ might turn up an ad distributed by Apple for an interior-design app, or Snap users searching for ‘NFL’ might see an ad for a ticket-reseller app, one of the people said.”

“Apple failed in its last advertising push. Its iAd service, launched in 2010, sold ads within mobile apps on iPhones and iPads but failed to catch on because it charged higher prices than competitors and restricted the types of ads marketers ran,” Mickle and Wells report. “Apple shut iAd in 2016. Todd Teresi, who oversees the ad business, refocused on the App Store ad business. While the business is small, its wide profit margins and strong performance have drawn attention from Mr. Cook and Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, a person close to Mr. Teresi said.”

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MacDailyNews Take: We’ve heard no complaints about Apple’s App Store search ads to date. Have they bothered you?

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