Apple Defends Buying Ads for Third-Party Apps

Apple Defends Buying Ads for Third-Party Apps

A Forbes report earlier today alleged that Apple secretly buys ads for third-party subscription-based apps in order to up its commission income. Apple has replied saying the charges mischaracterize the process, and says developers are well aware of the ads the Cupertino firm buys on the developers’ behalf.

The Forbes report said that major developers say Apple has been secretly buying ads for their apps. While that may at first glance seem like a good thing, the developers say the Cupertino firm’s motive is greed, and that the ads are actually costing developers millions of dollars.

Apple is apparently attempting to drive traffic directly to the App Store, and away from the developers’ own websites. This means users will buy subscriptions as in-app purchases, ensuring that Apple gets its usual 15% or 30% cut of the action.

Apple says that it has placed ads to promote apps for five years now and that the ads are clearly designated as being from the App Store.

Apple says this is no different than a retailer running ads for the products they sell, which is a standard business model. The agreements that developers sign with Apple grant the legal right to advertise in this manner.

The iPhone maker says that it regularly engages in conversation with developers about the ads it places and that many developers have expressed their appreciation for this support.

Apple says the advertising is merely part of the resources the company provides to developers, which includes compilers, testing and debugging tools, technical support, SDKs, libraries, APIs, and more.