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Update: Apple has now said that the suggestion that it "secretly" or "quietly" buys ads for third-party apps is a mischaracterization. The company says that it regularly communicates with developers about the ads it runs on their behalf. See Apple's full clarification for more information.

Apple allegedly buys Google ads for popular subscription-based third-party apps to bolster its collection of commission on in-app purchases, according to an article by Forbes.

app-store-blue-banner.jpg

Apple has purportedly been buying Google ads for subscription-based third-party apps, including HBO, Masterclass, Babbel, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and Bumble, for at least two years. A marketer speaking to Forbes suggested that many of the brands Apple appears to be advertising for have been assertive about attempting to circumvent App Store policies. The ads are said to be placed without the developer's consent and Google apparently refuses to remove them.

The ads do not disclose that they are paid for by Apple, but redirect to the App Store rather than subscription sign-up pages on the brand's website. One source, speaking to Forbes, explained:
Apple is trying maximize the money they're making by driving in-app purchases that people buy through the Apple Store. Apple has figured out that they can make more money off these developers if they push people to the App Store to purchase there versus a web flow.

Ads encouraging users to subscribe to a service usually lead to pages that encourage users to sign up online, bypassing Apple's 15 or 30 percent in-app purchase fee and allowing the business to collect all of the subscription's revenue.

Google claims that it is not responsible for who buys ads on its platform. Google's ad policies allow companies to use another company's trademark if "primarily dedicated to selling (or clearly facilitating the sale of) products or services, components, replacement parts, or compatible products or services corresponding to the trademark."

There are apparently indications that Apple is hiring a single agency to place the ads since they each have "similar tracking links with near-identical parameters."

Forbes speculates that Apple's unsolicited ads are potentially losing some third-party apps millions of dollars in revenue and resulting in high customer acquisition and advertising costs for their own campaigns, since prices rise when multiple parties bid on the same ad slots. The practice amounts to "a form of ad arbitrage," according to Forbes.

Article Link: Apple Allegedly Buys Ads for Subscription-Based Apps to Collect More Commission [Updated]
 
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m.x

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
224
821
I love admire Apple very much and I adore my new 14" MBP, but my god are they greedy with the App Store. It's like these are two different companies, on one side there are these amazing devices and on the other side there's abysmal treatment of developers and this penny-pinching - just to name a few things. In his recent The Talk Show episode, John Gruber quoted a friend of his with a quote which is so true: "Apple does one thing great: they make creative tools for people and sell them at a fair price that people will pay for it and everything else they do is - it ruins the good part of Apple. Everything else. It's corrupting.". I really would love to see them stepping back from the greed and their addiction to App Store revenue, but I think the only way they learn is when there is intervention from the outside.
 
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EmotionalSnow

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2019
268
870
Linz, Austria
I love Apple very much and I adore my new 14" MBP, but my god are they greedy with the App Store. It's like these are two different companies, on one side there are these amazing devices and on the other side there's abysmal treatment of developers and this penny-pinching - just to name a few things. In his recent The Talk Show episode, John Gruber quoted a friend of his with a quote which is so true: "Apple does one thing great: they make creative tools for people and sell them at a fair price that people will pay for it and everything else they do is - it ruins the good part of Apple. Everything else. It's corrupting.". I really would love to see them stepping back from the greed and their addiction to App Store revenue, but I think the only way they learn is when there is intervention from the outside.
Like you say, they won’t do it themselves. I mean why would they? Capitalism rewards this behavior and shareholders demand it.
 

cardfan

macrumors 68040
Mar 23, 2012
3,563
4,513
Atv+ along with being in the tv (shopping) app is all about selling 3rd party channels. This only aids in the effort.

I don’t see it as companies losing money. Apple is paying for ads to draw subs which you can’t say the company would get instead if apple didn’t. If said app dev didn’t like paying 30% they wouldn’t be in the App Store. It’s no different than retailers advertising apple products.
 
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Wildkraut

macrumors 68030
Nov 8, 2015
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Germany
I love Apple very much and I adore my new 14" MBP, but my god are they greedy with the App Store. It's like these are two different companies, on one side there are these amazing devices and on the other side there's abysmal treatment of developers and this penny-pinching - just to name a few things. In his recent The Talk Show episode, John Gruber quoted a friend of his with a quote which is so true: "Apple does one thing great: they make creative tools for people and sell them at a fair price that people will pay for it and everything else they do is - it ruins the good part of Apple. Everything else. It's corrupting.". I really would love to see them stepping back from the greed and their addiction to App Store revenue, but I think the only way they learn is when there is intervention from the outside.
I love my wife, my children and the rest my family, but would never love a company.
You know it's a one sided love, right? Okay they love your wallet, that's it! :)
 

PinkyMacGodess

Suspended
Mar 7, 2007
9,215
5,131
Midwest America.
Not sure I'd trust Forbes, but...

But isn't this like buying your own stock to raise the price? That reach-around is perfectly legal, even though it smells to high heaven...

EDIT: HAH!!! I got a disagree! So you like paying more for a stock so the greedy idiots can take more of your money, for essentially NOTHING? It's 'artificial inflation', and it should be illegal, IMO. Where else in life can you alter the symbol of success of a corporation so brazenly? And all they have to do is just buy more stock, and TA DAH!!! Instant money!
 
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H2SO4

macrumors 603
Nov 4, 2008
5,148
6,396
I love Apple very much and I adore my new 14" MBP, but my god are they greedy with the App Store. It's like these are two different companies, on one side there are these amazing devices and on the other side there's abysmal treatment of developers and this penny-pinching - just to name a few things. In his recent The Talk Show episode, John Gruber quoted a friend of his with a quote which is so true: "Apple does one thing great: they make creative tools for people and sell them at a fair price that people will pay for it and everything else they do is - it ruins the good part of Apple. Everything else. It's corrupting.". I really would love to see them stepping back from the greed and their addiction to App Store revenue, but I think the only way they learn is when there is intervention from the outside.
You love Apple very much???
I'm not sure how you think there seem to be two different companies. Being awful has no bearing on the quality of your product.
 

andrewxgx

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2018
147
781
say they advertised HBO service
where they doing them a favor (free ad) or disservice (lost revenue due to app store commission)?
can they sue them for doing this without their permission?
 

cardfan

macrumors 68040
Mar 23, 2012
3,563
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say they advertised HBO service
where they doing them a favor (free ad) or disservice (lost revenue due to app store commission)?
can they sue them for doing this without their permission?
Probably in contract? Apple lets retailers advertise their products. In this case it’s apples store. They have plenty incentive to advertise.
 

PinkyMacGodess

Suspended
Mar 7, 2007
9,215
5,131
Midwest America.
Wow, this is shady as heck.

How much greedier can this company get? I could maybe understand if a company is struggling to make ends meet, to try to pull all the stops... But jeez.

So a company buying their own stock to spike the price should be illegal too, right? That happens all the time, and thou it reeks, it's happening quite a lot.
 
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