apple touts benefits of privacy-preserving ad tech in pitch to advertisers

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Apple has revealed to advertisers that App Store search ads served in a non-targeted fashion are just as effective as those relying on targeting via first-party data.

The company made the claim in a presentation to advertisers that was obtained by AppleInsider. That presentation focused on the effectiveness of privacy-preserving technologies in Apple’s own Search Ads business.

According to the slide deck, Apple says that 78% of search volume on the App Store came from devices with first-party data collection turned off. The revelation marks the first time that Apple has revealed statistics on its Apple Advertising toggle.

Importantly, the toggle is completely separate from App Tracking Transparency. Located in the Privacy menu, the toggle only affects Apple personalized ads delivered by Apple. It also isn’t affected by ATT because Apple doesn’t use third-party ad data or track its users across other websites and apps.

Apple’s argument to advertisers is that foregoing using the company’s first-party data can result in ad campaigns on the App Store that are just as effective.

Advertisers can choose to place Apple Search Ads based on either targeted first-party data or by search terms. The latter option doesn’t use any user data and shows ads based on the query typed into the App Store search bar.

As mentioned, the conversion rate for both is nearly identical. More than that, a broader search can even reach more people since ads will still be shown to users who have the Apple Advertising toggle disabled.

Apple Search Ads, which are sponsored results that show up in App Stores searches, have been around since 2016. The business, although still small, has grown over the years. However, not all advertisers are convinced it’s a good deal for the money.

Back in April, Apple also countered claims that its separate ATT function was introduced to bolster Search Ads. A study funded by Apple, for example, said that Search Ads grew organically and separately from Apple’s privacy features.

Apple is not known for its advertising division, but earlier in May, the company was said to be restructuring its Services business to focus more on the sector as a growth driver.

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