Following allegations that Apple secretively buys ads for subscription-based apps to collect more commission, Apple has now said that this is a mischaracterization and developers are fully aware of the ads it runs on their behalf.
Earlier today, we reported on an article by Forbes which claimed that the company “secretly” or “quietly” places ads for subscription-based apps without their consent to bolster its collection of commission on in-app purchases in “a form of ad arbitrage.”
Apple has now clarified that it has placed ads to promote products it distributes for five years now, and these ads are clearly marked as being from the App Store.
Apple indicated that this is no different from retailers running ads for the products they sell, and is a very standard business model. Apple is granted conventional legal rights to advertise in this way in the agreements it has with developers.
Apple says that the allegation that it is “secretly” or “quietly” purchasing ads for developers without their knowledge or consent is an overt mischaracterization. On the contrary, the company says that it regularly engages in conversation with developers about the ads it places and many developers express their appreciation for this support.
Apple says that it is committed to providing developers with the resources they need to be successful on the App Store. These resources include compilers, testing and debugging tools, technical support, SDKs, libraries, APIs and more, but they also include advertising both inside and outside the App Store.
Apple’s advertising for developers’ apps, such as via email, online ads, and social media, achieved over 70 billion impressions in 2020. The company has also featured over 130,000 apps on the App Store and across various Apple channels, and is currently spending to support more than 100 apps across platforms such as Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok.
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