App Words anyone? Apple launches PPC ad platform

Developers keen to get their iOS apps noticed in Apple’s crowded App Store now have a new way to do so — with Apple’s paid search ads.

Launching in beta on June 20, App Store ads will have a light blue background, and a blue button identifying them as ads.

apple app words

Ads will only be for apps and only one ad will be shown per page. Expect, however, a lot of competition for that spot: there are reportedly 1.5 million apps in the App Store. And two-thirds of all App Store downloads are generated from searches within the App Store.

Advertisers will pay on a CPC basis, with pricing determined by auction.

Ads will only be shown to searchers 14 years and older. Apple also says that it will not share user data with advertisers.

Why should you care?

Given inventory constraints, it’s possible that paid search ads will only be affordable to well-heeled brands wishing to ensure the successful launch of their new apps. But should the new revenue stream prove significant without alienating Apple users, it’s anyone’s guess what might result.

Obvious opportunities include running paid search ads on iOS Spotlight Search and in Apple Maps.

But the buck needn’t stop there.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he develops search strategies for SureFire clients and helps them make sense of their website data.