Having benefitted from ad tracking policies that have eaten into its competitors’ ad businesses, Apple is now in aggressive hiring mode to beef up its platforms' advertising staff.
The company, which currently has about 250 staff on that team, is looking to fill 216 more jobs, to nearly double the team’s size, reports The Financial Times, based on an analysis of recruitment ads on Apple’s careers website.
Apple has not commented on the report, except to dispute the 216 number.
The ads, for product designers, sales specialists, data engineers and managers to support a project described as “redefining advertising [for a] privacy-centric world,” are mostly for U.S.-based jobs, but also include 27 in Europe and a combined 30 in China, India, Japan and Singapore.
Competitors have blamed Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy requiring opt-ins from iPhone users, implemented a year and a half ago, for losses in their own advertising businesses resulting from having to overhaul their advertising infrastructures and practices.
Critics contend that Apple is creating unfair advantages for itself under the cover of protecting consumers’ privacy.
Just today, InMobi's Appsumer performance insights platform released a report indicating that Apple’s first-party data advantage on iOS for both measurement and targeting helped raise its search ads' share of wallet by five percentage points, to 15%, while Facebook, Snap, and others experienced sharp declines in share of wallet and market share.
Apple’s “incredibly” fast-growing advertising revenue, estimated by FT at just a few hundred million dollars in the late 2010’s, will reach about $5 billion this year, based on a statement in one of its job ads, per the report.
That is still a fraction of Google’s approximately $209 billion in annual ad revenue. But Apple is well-positioned to capitalize on the boom in mobile advertising. In June, JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee projected that Apple’s ad revenue could reach $6 billion by 2025, including $4.1 billion in search ads,
In July, Apple acknowledged that it had begun testing additional ad positions in its App Store.
In August, Mark Gurman, writing in Bloomberg’s “Power On” newsletter, pointed to indicators that Apple plans to further accelerate the advertising business, including possibly serving ads in apps that haven’t had them in the past, such as Maps, and increasing ads in Apple TV+ and digital storefronts such as books and podcasts, noted Apple Insider.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is investigating complaints, originating three years ago, that Apple used its clout to thwart development of competitive apps.