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App Store announcements expand to Today tab and more

Apple is expanding its advertising business and adding two new advertising spaces to the App Store. Currently, the App Store has two advertising spaces: one in the main “Search” tab and one in the search results. The two new App Store ads announced today will bring ads to the App Store’s “Today” home page, as well as to individual app pages.

App Store ads are coming to more and more places

The new ad placements in the App Store will allow developers to place ads outside of the Search tab and search results. First, a new ad space is coming to the “Today” homepage of the App Store. This location, as seen in the image above, is located in the second slot of the Today page.

Apple notes that the rest of the Today tab will remain focused on curation and discovery – the ad spot will be clearly marked as an ad using the same blue banner/background as search ads. This will obviously be quite a lucrative ad placement for Apple and developers, as it sits directly on the page users see when they first open the App Store.

The second new ad placement is coming directly to the product pages themselves. This means developers will now be able to place ads on product pages for other apps. This place is located at the very bottom of the product page, under the banner section that shows other apps from this developer.

Developers will not be able to target a specific app when bidding for ad placement on the product detail page. For example, Twitter could not specifically target Tweetbot. The ads, however, will be relevant to each of the product pages. This means that you might (and will likely see) see ads for direct competitors on app pages.

In a statement, Apple explained that these new ad placements provide developers with an additional way to target and reach new customers, while respecting Apple’s commitment to privacy:

Apple Search Ads gives developers of all sizes the opportunity to grow their business. Like our other ad offerings, these new ad placements are built on the same foundation: they’ll only contain content from the apps’ approved App Store product pages and adhere to the same rigorous privacy standards.

Ron Schneidermann, CEO of the popular AllTrails app, said this in a statement:

Apple Search Ads has helped us attract new, more engaged customers in all markets. We rely on Apple Search Ads to acquire customers profitably. This is an essential element of our growth strategy. As they become available, we plan to invest in new locations to reach even more customers on the App Store and continue to drive our business growth.

The new ad placements will soon start appearing in the App Store for testing, but there are no details on exactly when this will happen.

App Store Ads Privacy

Apple makes it easy for users to opt out of personalized ads the first time you open one of its apps. Currently, Apple displays ads in the News app, App Store, and Stocks app.

In fact, Apple said earlier this year that about 78% of iOS 15 users opt out of personalized ads. According to Apple, this has no impact on conversions or efficiency. The company explained that advertisers saw a 62.1% conversion rate from customers who opted into personalized ads in the first quarter, compared to a 62.5% conversation rate among users who unsubscribed.

The new ad placements have the same privacy protections as Apple’s other proprietary ads. This includes not targeting individuals or small groups, but rather only segments consisting of at least 5,000 users. The company also does not create individual user profiles in its apps and services. Instead, it relies on random IDs.

9to5Mac’s Take: Google Play Store Comparison

As covered by our colleagues at 9to5Google many times the Google Play Store shows a number of ads. This includes in the “For You” tab of the app, as well as on product page listings and in search results. In the Play Store, advertisements typically display a number of different apps and occupy multiple rows of content. They are labeled as advertisements, but not as clearly as what Apple does in the App Store.

With today’s announcement, Apple is now offering App Store ad placements in Play Store-like placements. Apple’s implementation is much cleaner and well thought out than in the Play Store. It is also much clearer in the App Store what is an advertisement versus what is a curation.

In addition, product page ads in the Play Store are located higher than in the App Store. This means that you see ads before seeing other apps made by the same developer.

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