Apple reverses course on ban for apps incentivizing ad watching, social sharing

“Earlier this month, Apple began cracking down on some of the methods developers use to monetize their apps, rejecting some apps that offered rewards for viewing videos and sharing content on social networks,” Juli Clover reports for MacRumors.

“Developers were understandably upset about this policy change, as offering opt-in ads in the form of rewards for video watching provided a way to generate revenue without significantly disrupting gameplay,” Clover reports. “Providing in-game currency, extra lives, or another incentive for watching an advertisement has become common in freemium games.”

Clover reports, “Apple now appears to have reversed course on its decision to reject apps for using these promotional methods, with TechCrunch noting that Apple has ceased rejecting apps for using incentivized ads and has changed its opinion on some previously rejected apps.”

Read more in the full article here.

Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch, “Sources in the video ad industry have reported that app rejections related to this matter have now declined, indicating the policy is being rolled back. We’re also hearing that some of the initial, and more worrisome, rejections are being undone – that is, the apps are being allowed back in the App Store.”

“From our understanding, Apple’s internal App Review team will reject apps from developers who offer incentives designed get users to review their app, rate their app, or download other apps, because these activities can influence an app’s position on the App Store’s Top Charts,” Perez reports. “But simply watching a video ad to earn an incentive is allowed, as is offering incentives to users to post about the app on social media.”

Perez reports, “In addition, developers can show video ads that highlight their own apps or those belonging to others, but they can’t incentivize users to actually download those apps as a part of that experience.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. This is disappointing. Steve Jobs was very concerned about the user experience, which is why he had to be persuaded into allowing third party developers onto the platform. I refuse to download apps that try to “incentivize” me into watching some stupid ad in return for some dumb reward. I can tolerate a few ads on free apps, but these videos are going too far.

    1. Many software houses are now just seeking to milk every last cent from the consumer. Look at the Asphalt racing game: previous versions were bought and paid for- now the game is “free”, but milks you endlessly for cash. This cancer came over from Fandroid and should have stayed there.

    2. So you are either one of the people responsible for the rise of freemium games and are happy to pay 99c for your dumb reward or you are one of the people who think all software should be free and the developers should find an alternate way to make money.

      Sadly freemium has killed paid games and it doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon so games that are not designed for IAP need to make money somehow.

      1. You made far too many assumptions about me. I prefer to PAY for apps, not download the so-called “freemium” apps. The problem is that a lot of developers are trying to milk as much profit out of us as possible, and that is what has given rise to the freemium apps. I’ve always downloaded the paid version of iOS apps when they’re available. Do you make a regular habit of assuming you know someone, or do you actually take a moment to analyze and ask questions?

        1. Your argument that “developers are trying to milk as much profit out of us as possible” has no merit in this case as the topic in question is rewarded ads. You watch them to get something instead of paying for an IAP, these are by choice, not force upon you.

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