Ad tech execs and app marketers don’t think Apple can sell ads without data collection

“As Apple reportedly weighs another ad network bid, some industry figures are skeptical of the company’s chances,” Patrick Kulp reports for Adweek. “Spurred by the success of search ads in the App Store, Apple is considering placing ads in apps like Pinterest and Snap as a way to supplement weakening device sales, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. But marketers say the Cupertino giant’s insistence on meticulous control over its walled-garden platform and hardline stance on user privacy make it hard for the company to make an attractive offer to advertisers.”

“Those were also the complaints that dogged Apple’s last attempt at an advertising platform, iAd, which was shuttered in 2016,” Kulp reports. “‘When you operate a robust advertising business you almost by definition have to cede a little bit of control over the user experience,’ said Mike Baker, CEO and president of marketing software firm Dataxu. ‘It’s not in the Apple DNA to cede control over user experience. So, therefore, advertisers can feel like second-class citizens—even more so than on other big platforms.'”

“A number of factors seem to have led Apple to soften that stance more recently, though. For one, Apple is generally shifting its attention to service offerings as consumers hang onto their phones for longer and drive down device sales,” Kulp reports. “A nearly $1 billion windfall from App Store promoted search ads last year—a figure on par with Snap’s entire estimated ad revenue—has also caught CEO Tim Cook’s eye, according to the WSJ.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple could sell ads, they just wouldn’t command good prices. Perhaps differential privacy is somehow the key?

Apple looks to expand advertising business with new ad network for apps – June 2, 2018
Apple’s App Store revamp: Ads are coming – June 9, 2016
Apple revamps App Store, may not win over all developers – June 9, 2016
Gruber: Apple’s App Store changes likely to spawn slew of professional-caliber iPad apps – June 8, 2016
Apple to reveal App Store 2.0 at WWDC: New subscription model, search ads, and more – June 8, 2016


  1. Give me a break. It is hysterical how arrogant some of these folks are. You could know everything there is to know about a person and not be able to predict their whims. How’s about focusing on the quality of your products and your professional ethics instead? Oh, that’s right. That requires effort and creativity they are accustomed to being rewarded for the opposite, I suspect that’s what they really meant. This is the same kind of nonsense that used to fall out of the slathering mouth of Steve Ballmer. If companies like Google were forced to garner profit from merit, they would collapse overnight.

  2. Even differential policy is data collecting without paying for the source of the data.
    A user is contributing, though anonymously, without getting paid.

    Google offers its services for no monetary cost in exchange for data. Don’t Apple users pay a premium to not have their data collected?

    1. I’ve specced out comparable products, Apple stuff doesn’t cost more than other high end phones, laptops, desktops, whatever. I’m not seeing this premium you speak of. You can get cheaper stuff but it is… cheaper stuff. If you get a product that is close to as good as the Apple product you’re going to be paying about the same. Hey now, let’s play the game where we cherry pick specs and prices and “prove” Apple stuff does cost more. Weren’t the 90s great?

        1. They certainly could if they wanted to. There is no Apple premium. That has been a myth for a long time. However, Apple understands that privacy and security are selling points and because they have more control over their stuff they can do a better job with that. Privacy laws are only going to get stricter as we have seen with the EU’s GDPR. Companies like Google and Facebook that collect a lot of data are making themselves somewhat vulnerable in that a certain segment of the market will never care about privacy or about security very much and Apple will scoop up all the discerning customers at the top of the market. Tech companies that ignore privacy are handing the cream of the market to Apple.

          You are also missing that the data Apple does collect is used to improve software and hardware. In that way as an Apple user I am getting paid back.

            1. There is no Apple premium. Apple also offers many services at no additional monetary cost. Google does charge for some services as I’m sure you know. So does Apple. Your argument hinged on the existence of an Apple premium and there isn’t one. Now Apple is the same as Google. They charge for some services and not for others. If Google’s data collection is okay because they give away some services then that has to also be true of Apple.

  3. Meanwhile AAPL shares continue their slide, gaining nothing for the past 4 weeks. Investors simply are not very excited about Apple. It’s hard to blame them when you have a stuffed shirt like Pipeline running the company. What kind of excitement has Pipeline ever delivered to the faithful? Not much.

    Instead, Pipeline has delivered a rather consistent amount of disappointment and despair. The state of the Mac and Apple software is nothing to get excited about. Watching an ecosystem stagnate is not a reason to invest in a company.

    Somehow Pipeline manages to maintain his job. Amazing.

    I’m sure, very very sure, that Pipeline is surrounded by a whole team of back slappers telling him what a great job he is doing.

    1. You called it right. Apple is the only major tech stock falling. Facebook is now well over $200 even after Capitol Hill and EU complaints. All of the FANG stocks are rising like crazy, despite Tim Cook’s privacy concerns. Almost no one cares about personal-data theft. Only loyal Apple shareholders and consumers hoping for desktop upgrades are taking a beating. Apple and Tim Cook seem to keep missing what excites investors to drive the stock higher.

    2. your view of timeline, 4 weeks, makes you a short-term investor. Besides, most of the market would apply to your conclusions.
      Although no man is god, Mr. Buffett added a lot of AAPL last qrt, more this qrt and simultaneously said he’d like to buy more. It’s one’s man’s opinion, but it’s a very worthy opinion.
      Yes, TC’s got his problems, but that’s another discussion

  4. I would have like to have read the original article to get more detail, but it appears to be only accessible to subscribers.

    I don’t think it’s so much a case of Apple not being able to sell adverts while safeguarding user privacy, but more a case of the advertising industry is keen that Apple should not be allowed to succeed in a venture which undermines their current business model, which is based on excessive invasion of privacy.

    The American advertising industry has had it easy for many years and has become accustomed to employing forms of intrusive advertising which do not respect the privacy of users and which are unacceptable elsewhere in the world. In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytics scandal and the introduction of GPDR in Europe, the wild west days of advertisers being able to do whatever they want are numbered.

    Apple shook up the music industry and changed long-established practices which many thought could never be altered and predictably, the music industry fiercely resisted at every turn. We’re about to see the same sort of upheaval with regard to advertisers being required to respect individual privacy.

    Apple can see which way the wind is blowing and is preparing for the future methodology of advertising, not clinging on to the old one.

    1. With music you at least had a demand from the consumer which allowed for changes to occur in the music industry. Advertising on the other hand is unlikely to follow in the same path. When is the last time you heard any consumer say they wanted advertising? (Ok, maybe Superbowl Ads are an exception).

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