Emails show Apple's internal debate over showing ads in the App Store

9to5mac.com
3 min read
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Apple has slowly been expanding the amount of advertising in the App Store, first with Search Ads in results, and more recently with an ad slot in the "Suggested" area of the App Store Search tab. New emails made public as part of the Apple vs. Epic legal battle, seen by 9to5Mac, offer a look […]
Apple has slowly been expanding the amount of advertising in the App Store, first with Search Ads in results, and more recently with an ad slot in the "Suggested" area of the App Store Search tab. New emails made public as part of the Apple vs. Epic legal battle, seen by 9to5Mac, offer a look at Apple's internal debate over whether or not to roll out ads to the App Store.

App Store Search Ads were introduced in 2016 as Apple aimed to diversify revenue streams as part of its growing Services segments. A report in 2018 indicated that the Search Ads business generated around $1 billion annually in revenue, and that number has likely grown since then.

Apple's internal discussion about adding Search Ads to the App Store appear to have began around February 2015, when Apple's David Neumann emailed Eric Friedman a link to Google's announcement about allowing ads in Google Play. Neumann is 15-year veteran engineer at Apple, while Friedman serves as head of the company's Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk unit.

"Boy, I sure wish we could do this," Nuemann wrote in the email referencing Google's announcement about ads in the Play Store. Friedman responded and said that it was something that Apple had considered:

Yes, the ability to pay for promotion would…
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