Promoted Apps: Could Native Advertising Come to iOS App Store?

The iOS app store will pass $20b annual runrate this year and yet app discovery is still terribly suboptimal. At first I thought it was merely product limitations that Apple would aggressively move to solve – better search, social discovery, improved ratings system. Then I claimed conspiracy theory – that Apple likes having editorial control and thus the ability to play kingmaker via the featured section. Now I’m thinking something else – something that Jobs might have rejected but could provide billions in high margin ad revenues to Apple: native advertising in the form of promoted apps.

Think about it – there’s a fast-growing market in Cost Per Install app promotion around the iOS ecosystem. Apple doesn’t like when it succeeds – partly because of grey-area techniques, but maybe also because they don’t want anyone to meaningfully create alternative promotional mechanisms before they roll out Promoted Apps. AppGratis wasn’t too bad but too good?

What could it look like? Some promotional slots within the leaderboards, on search, on browse. A cost per install auction system. Makes a lot more sense to me than iAd.

Anyone have good reasons why Apple shouldn’t pursue this opportunity? 

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  1. Pingback: Facebook, Google, And Twitter’s War For App Install Ads | TechCrunch

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