Apple is working on an AI-powered platform that might make mobile ads even more annoying

App Store Awards 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is reportedly testing an AI-powered tool designed to optimize App Store ad campaigns as it apparently looks to keep track with great rival Google.

The tool, which is reportedly being examined by a select group of advertisers, looks to automate the placement of ads within the App Store similar to Google’s Performance Max platform.

A report from Business Insider claims Apple maintains the tests are aimed at enhancing the performance of Apple Search Ads, however rumors of a product launch in the coming months suggest otherwise.

Apple testing AI ads

Apple’s current ad formats, including those on the search tab, on the search results page, ‘you might also like’ ads on app pages and those that appear in the ‘Today’ tab, could all be overhauled as part of the update.

Business Insider says advertisers would input details like budget, cost-per-acquisition target, target audience and target countries, and Apple’s algorithms will do the rest to automatically determine the best placement for ads across the four available formats.

Reports of AI-enhanced advertising should come as no surprise, given the industry-wide trend, however there is some skepticism around whether Apple will keep these within the confines of the App Store. 

We’ve already seen increasing concern in recent weeks and months that the iPhone maker could be looking to inject advertising into other apps, like News, Stocks and the recently launched Sports app.

Apple’s ad business looks to be growing at a rapid rate, with research firm Omdia forecasting revenue of $7 billion in 2024, up $1 billion from last year.

Moreover, the Cupertino giant has also reportedly made hires in its TV-ad sales business, indicating that Apple could be considering a similar move to Netflix whereby it would introduce a cheaper ad-supported tier. Apple TV+ costs $9.99 per month, up from $4.99 when it first launched in November 2019.

TechRadar Pro asked Apple to share further context about its intentions with advertising, but the company did not immediately respond. 

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!