Apple is leveraging features to grow its own advertising, advertisers say

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With advertisers complaining that Apple’s privacy features are cutting revenue for rivals but not for itself, Apple is now significantly expanding its own advertising business and is in the midst of hiring.

Apple Privacy

Apple recently reportedly reduced recruitment overall, or recruited more selectively, and laid off all of its temporary recruitment staff. Now the FinancialTimes says the company is advertising some 216 new employees to join and nearly double the headcount of its advertising business.

The FinancialTimes says the 216 figure comes from Apple’s careers website. The various advertisements describe how people are hired into a project that is “redefining advertising [for a] privacy-centric world.”

Most of the jobs are in the United States, but about 27 are in Europe. Then there are 12 in China, 12 in India, 4 in Japan and 2 in Singapore. Roles include managers, product designers, sales specialists, and data engineers.

Apple reportedly declined to comment, but disputed the 216 role figure.

David Steinberg, chief executive of Zeta Global, a marketing technology company, told the FinancialTimes that Apple was both “brilliant” and “machiavellian” in its approach to advertising and ad sales.

“They could build [their advertising business] dramatically, he says,[and] the “air cover” is that they protect consumer privacy.”

Previously, Apple kept talking about the detriment and publicity problems for users. Tim Cook went so far as to say that Apple would not use advertising to get more money from users.

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product,” he said in 2018. “We chose not to.”

However, it has always specifically targeted unwanted ads, or those where marketing companies profile users by tracking them.

That’s what the company’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy feature was introduced to do starting with iOS 14. probably originally created by Apple.

ATT was very effective, with Facebook eventually reporting a drop in projected revenue of $10 billion precisely because of this.

Recently, it was reported that Apple was working to offer more ads in its apps, and in particular Apple Maps.

Separately, it was recently predicted that Apple’s advertising business could reach $6 billion by 2025. That’s a small amount compared to the $209 billion that the FinancialTimes says Google’s ad business is gaining, but it’s also gone from about a few hundred million dollars in the late 2010s.

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