A few days ago, a number of mobile publishers accused Apple of secretly buying Google ads for selected applications. The company allegedly does this to increase its revenue from subscriptions. Apple claims that all such campaigns were coordinated with the developers and do not violate the rules of the App Store.What happened?

On November 12, Forbes published an article about the “secret” purchase of advertising traffic from Apple.

The publication referred to the words of several anonymous publishers and developers who considered such actions of the “apple” company dishonest.

According to them, Apple has been buying Google ads for major apps and services like HBO, Tinder, Babbel and Plenty of Fish for at least two years. “Apple realized that it can make more money from these developers if it motivates people to make purchases in the App Store, and not via the Internet,” one of the sources told Forbes.

Based on this, the developers believe that the company is engaged in a kind of traffic arbitration — attracts customers to specific applications for a percentage of sales. The percentage in this case is the commission that Apple gets from paying for subscriptions to applications.

Another claim is that Apple does not coordinate its actions directly with the creators of the applications. Because of this, the cost of their own advertising campaigns is increasing for developers.

On the one hand, some might be happy with Apple’s promo, since the company actually brings new customers to the applications for free. On the other hand, developers of apps with subscriptions prefer to accept payments bypassing the App Store.

The Apple store still charges a commission from such applications, although it is reduced from 30% to 15% after the first year. However, services like Netflix and HBO are still trying to attract users to their sites in order to take all the revenue for themselves.

“[Apple’s actions] are hurting advertisers. Because of this, LTV is reduced, which leads not only to an increase in the cost of advertising, but also cuts off overall costs. Apple doesn’t just earn more from developers, it hurts their businesses,” another source said.

Google is unable to influence the situation at the same time. The company is not responsible for who buys advertising on its site. In addition, Apple’s actions do not violate its advertising rules in any way.

Apple’s reactionApple partially confirmed this information in a conversation with the publication 9to5Mac.

She has indeed been buying ads from Google for some applications for more than five years. However, the company has rejected reports that it is doing this “secretly.”

According to Apple, it regularly communicates with developers before launching campaigns. Such advertising messages do not violate the terms of the Apple Developer Program agreement.

Thus, Apple’s goal is to simply promote applications sold in the App Store. As an example, the company cites retail stores that advertise products sold in them from third-party manufacturers.

Now Apple buys advertising for more than 100 applications on sites such as Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok. Unlike the statements of Forbes sources, the company does not see anything unethical or mean in its actions.