- Apple introduced an ad product that lets software developers pay for placements based on the number of app installations from its App Store, TechCrunch reported. Called Search Ads Basic, the service is aimed at smaller developers compared with the existing Search Ads product, which is now being renamed to Search Ads Advanced.
- Apple designed the Search Ads Basic service to make setting up an ad campaign much simpler. Advertisers only need to enter the app to be promoted, along with providing their budget and the amount they want to pay per install. The company doesn't place limitations on the type of app or size of the company that can use Search Ads Basic, but it does restrict budgets to $5,000 a month, while Search Ads Advanced doesn't have an upper limit.
- In separate news from TechCrunch, Apple acquired podcast search engine Pop Up Archive to offer a greater selection of podcasting tools. The company closed last month after announcing on Twitter that users needed to download all their content, though Apple hasn't shared what it plans to do with the search engine.
Apple's new Search Ads Basic service is the latest way the tech giant is trying to help developers get noticed in the App Store, which has become cluttered with more than 2 million apps. With the introduction of iOS 11 in September, the company rolled out a redesigned App Store that was intended to help customers discover new apps in different categories beyond the top rankings by sales and downloads.
Apple initially introduced Search Ads (now called Search Ads Advanced) to help developers target potential users using specific criteria like location, gender, keywords and whether they had installed the app before. Those ads appeared at the top of the App Store search results when users searched for a keyword or terms. Developers paid for these ads when users tapped on them, according to TechCrunch.
Search Ads have been popular among developers and marketers seeking to boost exposure for their apps. Apple's data indicate that conversion rates for Search Ads have held steady at more than 50%, while the cost per acquisition has been less than $1.50. That price is lower than market norms. The other advantage is that Apple has a wealth of data on its users, even as the company is very protective of their privacy.
Search Ads Basic is available in the U.S. alongside the Search Ads Advanced offering. Developers can start a campaign and track results in an online dashboard. The search won't be rolled out to the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Mexico until next year, TechCrunch said.