The new spots open up additional advertising opportunities just in time for the holiday season when competition is at its peak. Currently, Apple ad inventory is only available in the Apple Search results page and the Search tab. Apple first reached out to developers to announce the expansion of ad spots across the app store.
Where To Expect New Placements
While Apple did not include this information directly in the invitation to developers, there's a good chance Apple is including ad units in the Today tab of the app store. There is also discussion that ad units will be available directly within app product pages, however, it is not confirmed yet. Eric Seufert, founder of Mobile Dev Memo, tweeted his exclusive invitation to the conversation on September 13th.
Who Can Advertise On Apple Search
The Apple Search advertising requirements have not changed with the expected inventory expansion. Currently, businesses must have an approved App Store product page to advertise on Apple Search.
In the midst of Apple's ad placement expansion, it's going to be harder for advertisers to measure success. Apple previously introduced the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) to protect user privacy. With this feature, users are able to turn off personalized ads on the App Store.
Additionally, Apple doesn't allow advertisers to target users by account information or past purchase history, leaving targeted options limited. As of March 2022, the user opt-in for ATT was only 46%. That means over half of user activity and measurement capabilities are not able to be captured by marketers.
ATT opt-in rate varies by app category, with the Gaming categories showing on the lower-end of opt-in rates. So, I guess this means that while advertisers have more opportunity to expand, it may be harder to prove that Apple Search ads are effective?