- Apple’s $5 billion advertising division is a sleeping giant, experts say.
- Experts predict that Apple will bring ads to more of its apps and services next year.
- It’s also possible that Apple will further tighten the screws on tracking, experts told Insider.
Apple’s influence on the advertising industry has intensified this year and will grow even more in 2023.
The company is also expanding its own advertising empire. The App Store search ad business is growing at a clip, and Apple has begun pitching Major League Soccer ad packages to advertisers.
With dozens of open advertising-related roles listed on its career site, experts believe this is just the beginning. Analysts at Evercore ISI predict that Apple’s advertising division could generate $30 billion in revenue over the next four years, up from an estimated $5 billion now.
Here’s what experts think Apple might have in store for its advertising business next year, from TV ads to further privacy intrusions. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Prediction 1: Ads will come to Maps or Podcasts
Apple currently serves ads in its App Store and in its News and Stocks apps. Experts believe it will further expand ads across its app portfolio in the coming months.
Eric Seufert, media strategist and founder of the Mob Dev Memo blog, said Maps and Podcasts are the biggest advertising opportunities for Apple.
He noted that as of 2020, Apple said Maps had “hundreds of millions” of users, while Podcasts had about 28 million monthly users after all.
Prediction 2: Ads will be placed on Apple TV+
Apple’s 10-year, $250 million per season deal to broadcast Major League Soccer on Apple TV will air its first game in February 2023. In a first for the company, Apple is also selling the advertising, as well as other sponsorship integrations.
As Insider previously reported, the most expensive package starts at $4 million per season for the most prominent placements.
Apple may also expand its advertising pitch to baseball next year. Apple TV+ currently airs Major League Baseball on Friday nights, and while the League will continue to sell ads for that broadcast through next season, that could change. It was reportedly in talks for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket, though the Wall Street Journal reported this week that YouTube emerged as the frontrunner for that rights package.
And there’s also some industry speculation that Apple TV could launch an ad-supported plan, as Digiday previously reported , though experts told Insider they’d be surprised to see a 2023 launch.
“Its existing ad tech and tech background could save it from being a costly ad partner, but because its reach is much lower than Disney or Netflix, it may not be able to capitalize on the trend of increasingly higher CPMs,” he said. Insider Intelligence analyst Daniel Konstantinovic in a recent report.
Prediction 3: More details about Apple’s demand platform will emerge
As Insider reported in November, Apple hired mobile ad pioneer Vishal Gurbuxani to begin work on what two sources familiar with the matter described as an on-demand platform.
DSP is software that helps marketers automate and optimize ad purchases. It could become the primary entry point for advertisers looking to reach Apple users across its portfolio of apps and services.
Experts said it’s unlikely that the DSP will offer ad inventory in apps that Apple doesn’t own, at least not initially.
Prediction 4: Apple will look to make an adtech acquisition
While Apple has had a search ad business for some time, it may need to bolster its adtech infrastructure as it expands further into display and video advertising.
“Building adtech isn’t easy,” said Ciarán O’Kane, chief strategist at marketing firm Insights WireCorp.
“Apple is going to find out how hard it is to run TV ads,” he added, referring to its MLS telecasts. “You can’t just throw something together.”
O’Kane predicted that Apple could be on the lookout for an ad server or other marketplace technology to tie together its video and CTV inventory.
Prediction 5: Apple will quietly tighten the privacy screws again
After Apple restricted tracking, some companies came up with solutions like “fingerprinting”. This is the practice of combining information from a device — such as a user’s IP address or language setting — to determine which users have clicked on ads and potentially profile them.
While it’s hard to track fingerprints, experts believe Apple will get better at it — just as it’s been steadily beefing up Smart Tracking Prevention in its Safari browser since companies found ways around it.
“History shows that Apple can still iterate and strengthen technology enforcement,” said Itai Cohen, senior vice president of marketing and strategy at Digital Turbine, a mobile monetization platform.
Prediction 6: Apple will make improvements to its own ad measurement solution, SK AdNetwork
Apple prohibits advertisers and app developers from using its Advertiser ID for targeting and measurement unless users expressly consent to tracking.
Instead of IDFA, Apple offers SK AdNetwork, which offers aggregated privacy-focused metrics such as the number of users who downloaded an app after seeing an ad for it.
SK AdNetwork will be five years old next year, and with it, mobile ad experts are hoping for improvements, though they’re likely to be iterative given Apple’s strong focus on privacy.
Roy Yanai, product manager for SK AdNetwork at mobile analytics platform AppsFlyer, hopes for more granular analytics of ad campaigns and aggregated insights into user activity.