Apple finds its next big business: showing ads on your iPhone

Apple is set to expand ads to new areas of your iPhone and iPad in search of its next big revenue driver.


Let’s begin with the current state of play: Apple’s advertising efforts today consist of display ads inside of its News and Stocks apps, as well as inside the App Store, across the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The App Store also has Google-like search ads. And more recently, Apple put advertising inside of TV+ for its “Friday Night Baseball” deal with Major League Baseball.


I believe that the iPhone maker will eventually expand search ads to Maps. It also will likely add them to digital storefronts like Apple Books and Apple Podcasts. And TV+ could generate more advertising with multiple tiers (just as Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. are doing with their streaming services).

So that was the plan all along. First, Apple tried to cut a deal with Facebook – one of the two online advertising giants (Apple already gets billions a year from the other, Google) – to get in on the online ad revenue. Second, when that fell through, Apple went on a privacy crusade against Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Google) to harm its online advertising business. Third, Apple is now going to expand its own ad business by adding even more ads to iOS.

And all along the way, millions fell for it.

John Gruber, a few years ago:

My concern, again, is what happens if the drive to increase services revenue takes precedence over Apple’s “Prime Directive”: to put product design and experience above all else.

Well, now you know.


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