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Data Snack

Did Apple Tank Its Own App Store Ads?

June 18, 2021
Mae Rice

Apple isn't known for shooting itself in the foot, but its app store ad revenues have been on the decline, and iOS 14.5 seems to have made things worse. Is it self-sabotage or a blip?

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Apple app store ads are losing their premium sparkle.

Weekly ad revenue from Apple’s app store has been declining since February, according to a Singular report — and when iOS 14.5 launched on April 26, it fell faster.

Source: Singular

Meanwhile, Android app store’s weekly revenue has been on the uptick.

This is striking for two reasons:

  • Apple isn’t known for playing itself. It’s a $2T company!
  • Apple’s app store ads are invasive. If you search for an app, the only fully above-the-fold result is a promoted (often unrelated) app. 

Will this last? 

It lasted through June. From June 1 through July 1, Apple ad store revenues dropped by about 33%, and Android app store revenues rose about 10%, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It’s not necessarily a permanent shift, though. 

More likely, advertisers shifted some spend from the Apple app store to the Android one as they retool how they measure ad performance, said MarketerHire’s director of paid media Marc Barraza.

Our takeaway?

The Apple app store is struggling momentarily — but resilient.

“In my experience, iOS users are more valuable from a revenue and lifetime value standpoint,” Barraza said. 

That’s hard for advertisers to give up.

Mae Rice
about the author

Mae Rice is senior editor at MarketerHire. A long-time content marketer, she enjoys interviewing marketing experts and learning about the weird and wonderful feedback loops that connect marketing and culture. She also loves any ad that makes her say "Huh?!" — especially Tim and Eric's ad for Totino's pizza rolls, which she watches way more often than you would think.

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