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Apple Ads Mimics Google and Meta With Latest AI Tests

Apple is looking to follow in Google and Meta’s footsteps by bringing the power of AI to its Apple Store ad campaigns, reports Business Insider. 

It’s currently testing a new tool which looks a lot like Google’s Performance Max and Meta’s Advantage+ automated ad placement models, which could lead to more ads being delivered across Apple’s ecosystem in the future. But for now, the new format will only be available to App Store campaigns.

Lara O’Reilly, Business Insider

“In this new campaign type, advertisers enter their budget and cost-per-acquisition target, as well as the audiences and countries they want to reach. Apple’s algorithm then automatically decides where best to place the brand’s ads.”

Following in its competitors’ footsteps

According to an Apple employee who spoke to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity, Apple is officially conducting the tests to learn how it can make Search Ads better. However, the whistleblower indicated that the new format would be introduced to the mass market. Given the success of Performance Max and Advantage+ on Google and Meta’s balance sheets, it’s not a surprise that Apple would want to grab a slice of the pie by developing its own AI-powered ad campaign.

Just like the two formats Apple is copying, this tool would automatically find the best ad placements within the App Store, with the goal of driving down cost and improving performance for advertisers. Both Performance Max and Advantage+ have been praised for associated efficiency that comes with automated processes – but be warned, by placing so much in the hands of AI, marketers do lose some elements of control.

Just like with any ad campaign, to use the new tool, advertisers will need to tell Apple their budget, cost per acquisition target, audience and countries they want to target.

As things stand, it looks like the new format will only be available in the App store, said Business Insider, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t expand elsewhere after a successful bedding in period. For example, ads could be placed in Maps, Apple TV+, Books and its recently launched Sports app.

Apple’s ad business is an evolving beast

While the average consumer might not automatically think of Apple as having a large advertising business, it’s on track to generate around $7 billion in revenue this year – a huge jump from the $1 billion it made in 2023. Most of its ad earnings come through App Store search ads.

Apple has recently made several hires in areas such as TV ad sales and adtech, so expanding and improving its suite of ad formats makes logical sense.

How Apple’s Search ads work and where they run

Apple’s Search Ads are designed to turn intent into app downloads and help users discover apps throughout the App Store. App ads can be displayed on the App Store home page, in its search bar or results section and in product pages.

Apple

“Apple Search Ads makes it easy to manage your campaigns. There’s no minimum spend, and you can invest as much or as little as you want. With cost-per-tap (CPT) pricing, you only pay when a customer engages with your ad.”

Advertisers can set a daily budget, determine the maximum price they’re willing to pay for a tap and stop, start or adjust a campaign at any time. Apple can also automatically create ads using metadata and imagery provided in App Store Connect.

Marketers can then set up custom reports and schedule them to run daily, weekly or monthly while taking advantage of Apple’s personalised recommendations.

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