For years, Apple has been a loud critic of online advertising that relies on hogging as much information about us as possible. Now, the company wants to become a bigger seller of online ads, and says it can do so in a less creepy way.
The question is: Can Apple successfully sell online ads without the ick?
This will be a test — with us as real-world subjects — of whether there can be a future of digital advertising that gobbles less of our information, or whether the status quo is too powerful to change.
Apple’s goal is possible, digital advertising experts told me, but it won’t be easy.
Many companies, including Google, Facebook and obscure data middlemen, track our phones wherever we roam, record all the websites and apps we use and match up bits of seemingly small details like how much battery life is left on our phones.
They do this mostly to fine-tune pitches for butt flap pajamas and other stuff, or to sell our data in bulk in ways we can’t imagine.
The digital advertising system is ugly but lucrative, partly because it works. Apple relies far less on these common online methods of tracking, but it might need to bend to this reality if it wants to become a bigger ad player. Plus, Apple’s campaign to crack down on existing ad methods and sell its own ads opens the company to criticism that it’s acting hypocritical.
Let me explain why Apple wants to go bigger in ads, how the company approaches advertising and how our digital experiences might change.
Why does Apple want to sell more ads?
It’s incredibly profitable for Apple to sell ads when people search the iPhone App Store for fitness apps or read articles in the Apple News app.
Apple won’t mention it on Wednesday when it introduces new iPhone models, but the company wants more ways to earn income to keep growing as sales of smartphones stagnate. Bloomberg News and The Financial Times have recently reported that Apple plans to expand its advertising business, including by potentially showing commercials in Apple Maps and other sites and apps.
Other companies that haven’t made money from ads, such as Amazon, DoorDash and Instacart, are increasingly trying these advertising side hustles, too.
How Apple’s ads are different.
Everything we click, everywhere we go with our phones and many of our personal details have become commodities to tailor advertisements to us.
This might lead to lower prices because businesses know that I am more likely to respond to an ad …….