According to a rumor that has set the internet on fire, Apple devices may soon include legitimate adware that will show you marketing material. The rumor came from Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman who said Apple was experimenting with an ad service that could recommend select businesses within Maps, Books and Podcasts.
To say this isn’t going down very well is an understatement. About as well as when we heard BMW was planning to offer subscriptions for car features. Like BMW, an iPhone, or any Apple product, is a premium device. An iPhone will cost well north of $1,000.
Apple devices are already more expensive than competitors and now the company wants to add more revenue with ads?
The issue isn’t just with having to see ads even after paying a premium for a premium product. Ads inevitably come with some form of tracking and analytics.
Nobody I know is in favor of that!
“The effort to add search ads to Apple Maps has already been explored internally. Such a feature would probably work similarly to search ads in the App Store. For instance, a Japanese restaurant could pay money to rank at the top of local listings when users searched for 'sushi.' If you’ve used Yelp, you already get the idea.
In the books and podcast apps, publishers could pay for their work to appear higher in results or in ads placed throughout the apps. Publishers have long been able to sell books inside of the Apple Books app, and subscribing to podcasts could be tied to advertising as well. Meanwhile, an ad-supported TV+ could offer older shows for a lower price and help promote the paid offering.
Now the only question is whether the customers of Apple — a purported champion of privacy and clean interfaces — are ready to live with a lot more ads.”
We’re used to developers paying to have their game or app at the top of the results, and we’re used to seeing businesses promoted in the Stocks and News app. Now it looks like businesses may be able to pay to be featured in Maps more prominently than the competition.
That’s bad news for your mom and pop diner or independent record store. How are they going to be able to afford to compete?
Very few iPhone users I know are happy about this. While we are steadily tuning out ads, most people don't want to be paying for a premium device only to still see commercials.
You couldn’t imagine Netflix or Hulu getting away with that, so why would Apple?