Apple is currently beta-testing its sponsored Search Ads, a feature designed to pop-up some developers’ content when users search for a similar product in the App Store. Yet, industry analysts wonder whether the new option will benefit big and small developers alike or whether big money will make a huge difference.
Apple won’t roll out paid ads in the App Store until the beta-testing period is over. However, analysts recommend small publishers and developers to carefully analyze how paid ads help them with traffic.
It is yet unclear whether big publishing companies will dominate channels or whether users would rather access ads from big developers alone. It is also unclear whether Apple tries to make more money from the Store or just struggling to give a makeover to a dying service.
Still, the real question does not rely around Apple’s intentions but around those who will benefit the most from the new feature.
Analysts expect paid ads to lower organic traffic for those that heavily rely on it such as small developers. This is because mobile users access the advertisement links without being able to read the organic results as smartphones usually have small screen space. On the other hand, this could be prevented if more users access the App Store, analysts claim.
Furthermore, Apple may be aware of this fact and intentionally favor big publishers with enough money to invest in ads. Analysts explained that the app market has recently reached its saturation as less and less apps mange to ignite users’ interest. Plus, there are more than 2 million apps on the market.
It is only logical that high-quality products are published by those with big money to spend on marketing. So, if it comes to the point that only high-quality products are advertised on the App Store, this could help the site select the most relevant apps without the extra hassle.
But users may not agree on what is relevant. Many of them would rather use a free app than a paid one even though the former is often well-monetized.
The changes may also be a sign to small developers that Apple no longer caters for their interests or shows no interest in improving the App Store. However, analysts expect the paid ads to help small developers reach their audiences easier than through third party sites such as Facebook and other social media platforms.
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