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Apple's ad platform could benefit from privacy push

Apple's introduction of App Tracking Transparency could be beneficial to its own advertising business, with ad executives claiming clients could gain more data about ad performance for iOS devices than through third-party platforms.

Apple's launch of App Tracking Transparency on Monday has the potential to limit the amount of data that marketing firms can generate, from tracking the online activities of potential ad viewers. While this could ultimately impact the amount of revenue generated by advertising, it may also help make Apple's own advertising platform a more attractive proposition.

According to advertising executives and other observers speaking to the Wall Street Journal, ATT could give Apple's advertising system an edge. To ad agencies, this edge could be an immediacy of data.

Marketers typically have to wait for three days before gaining insight into their ad campaigns effectiveness, receiving data in aggregate instead of in a more granular form. However, Apple's advertising is said to provide more data about user behavior, including the version of ads seen by viewers, and search keywords used, as well as getting those results in near real-time.

An Apple spokesperson disputed the suggestion Apple was gaining an advantage for its own products. The aggregation of data on other platforms as well as the delays are said to be needed to prevent some advertisers from circumventing anti-tracking policies.

Apple's own ad products are said to be offered in a way that cannot be exploited in that manner, due to how advertisers can only target large groups of people at a time, not individuals.

It is claimed Apple is planning to increase its ad offering beyond its current App Store, News, and Stocks ad options, with one ad spot in the App Store's "Suggested" category believed to target based on a user's interest and audience data.

Apple's ad revenue is expected to earn the company in the region of $2 billion for the full fiscal year, according to Cowen & Co analysts. This makes up less than 1% of Apple's total revenue for the last fiscal year, which exceeded $274 billion, and is tiny compared to Facebook's alleged $84 billion in ad revenue earned last year.

The company has previously attempted to build up its own advertising platforms, including bidding on AdMob Inc in 2009 and running its iAd platform from 2010 until 2016.

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