Apple Pauses Gambling Ads in App Store Pages After Developers Complain [Updated]

Update October 26 3:31 p.m.: In a statement shared with MacRumors today, Apple said it has paused gambling ads in App Store app pages, with no further details provided:

We have paused ads related to gambling and a few other categories on App Store product pages.

Original story from October 25 follows.



Apple today rolled out new ad placements in the App Store on the iPhone, allowing developers to advertise their apps in more places, including the main Today tab and in the "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings.

new app store ads today tab
Just hours later, several prominent developers have complained about distasteful ads for gambling apps appearing in their own App Store listings outside of their control, including Marco Arment, Simon Støvring, and others. The issue was also highlighted in a tweet shared by MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci.


"Now my app's product page shows gambling ads, which I'm really not OK with," tweeted Arment. "Apple shouldn't be OK with it, either."

As noted by Arment, Apple provides advertisers with the choice to have their ad shown in app categories different than their own app's category, allowing ads for gambling ads to appear in listings for unrelated apps like the podcast app Overcast.

The presence of gambling ads in the App Store as a whole has prompted some criticism, with some accusing Apple of being greedy and moving away from policies that the company upheld under former CEO Steve Jobs. Apple earns revenue from both the ad placements and its 15% to 30% cut of in-app purchases in gambling apps.


Beyond upsetting some developers, Apple allowing apps to run ads in other apps' listings has already led to the company facing accusations of anticompetitive behavior. In a tweet last week, legal expert Florian Mueller argued the ads are "another means of increasing the effective app tax rate, forcing developers to buy ads on their own app pages in order to avoid that others steer customers away from there."


In August, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said Apple wanted to nearly triple its current advertising revenue to at least $10 billion per year in the future. Gurman said keyword-based search result ads are coming to the Apple Maps app starting next year.

We've reached out to Apple for comment and asked if the company will consider tightening its rules surrounding the ads. We'll update this story if we hear back.

Top Rated Comments

Born Again Avatar
6 weeks ago
Pretty gross oversight from apple.

Clearly it’s about the money over ethics with apple.

The Steve Jobs Apple would have never allowed this to happen.
Score: 128 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maclver Avatar
6 weeks ago
Just get rid of ads in the App Store. I for one won’t buy any app that is advertised in the App Store as an “ad”.
Score: 119 Votes (Like | Disagree)
james2538 Avatar
6 weeks ago
I'm so ****ing over Tim Cook as CEO. He's dragging Apple into the ground.

This profit above all else ethos is quickly destroying the brand that Steve spent years cultivating. People pay a premium for Apple hardware to not have to deal with this sorta crap.
Score: 106 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
6 weeks ago
I don’t say this often, but Steve really wouldn’t have allowed this. I don’t think Apple has the internal sensibility to know how scummy this is anymore.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDevil7334 Avatar
6 weeks ago
This is a great example of a shortsighted decision that grows the bottom line in the near term while eroding the brand’s reputation over the long term. Just how bad the erosion will be remains to be seen.
Score: 92 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bustycat Avatar
6 weeks ago
I use App Store only when I need it. The rankings are fake, the ratings are fake, the reviews are fake, and now the ads are fake, why should people use it to find a good app?
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

new app store ads today tab

Apple Announces More Ads Coming to App Store Starting Next Week

Saturday October 22, 2022 6:51 am PDT by
In an email to developers this week, Apple announced that app-related ads will begin appearing in the App Store's main Today tab and in a "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings starting Tuesday, October 25, in all countries except China. All ads in the App Store have a blue background and an "Ad" icon. "With a Today tab ad, your app can appear prominently on...
App Store Ads

Apple Begins Showing More Ads in App Store

Tuesday October 25, 2022 11:26 am PDT by
As expected, Apple today announced that new ad placements are now available in the App Store, allowing developers to advertise their apps in more spots. Starting today, developers can now advertise their apps in the App Store's main Today tab and in a "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings in all countries except China. Ads are already beginning to appear in...
new app store ads today tab

Apple Introducing New App Store Ads to Help Users Discover More Apps

Friday July 29, 2022 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today announced it is expanding its offering of how developers can promote their apps on the App Store, helping developers expand their reach and making it easier to discover more of what the App Store has to offer. Until now, Apple has offered developers two ad opportunities on the App Store: in the Search tab and within the Search results page. Both ad placements have been a...
App Store Ads

Report Reveals Apple Employees Internally Unhappy With Plans to Show More Ads to iPhone Users

Tuesday November 15, 2022 1:05 am PST by
A new report has revealed internal disagreement within Apple, causing some employees who work on the company's ads business to raise concerns that showing more ads to iPhone users ruins the premium experience that's been long offered to its customers, The Information reports. The lengthy report by The Information takes a deep dive into how Apple's ads team operates and internal concerns that ...
Apple MLS partnership June 2022

Apple to Expand Live TV Advertising for Major League Soccer Deal

Friday November 4, 2022 2:32 pm PDT by
Apple is building a live television ad network in preparation for streaming Major League Soccer games, reports Bloomberg. Apple has agreed to expand its advertising as part of its deal with MLS. Back in June, Apple announced a 10-year partnership with Major League Soccer, which will see all matches streamed through the Apple TV app starting in 2023. Apple is now talking with advertising...
Apple Maps 2022

Gurman: Apple Planning to Show Ads in Maps App Starting Next Year

Sunday August 21, 2022 10:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to begin showing search ads in its Maps app on the iPhone starting next year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "I believe the engineering work is already underway to launch search ads in the Apple Maps app, and we should begin to see it be implemented sometime next year," wrote Gurman, in the subscriber-only version of his "Power On" newsletter today. Ads in the Apple...
apple maps 3d feature

Apple Has Internally Tested Injecting Ads Into Maps App Search Results [Updated]

Monday August 15, 2022 5:27 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to triple its ad revenue from $4 billion per year to double-digit figures by expanding its advertising to more apps, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Currently, Apple ads appear in App Store app searches, where developers pay for promoted spots in results, as well as more standard ads that appear in the News and Stocks apps. Apple also generates revenue with commercials...
twitter elon musk

Elon Musk Claims Apple Has 'Mostly Stopped' Offering Ads on Twitter and Is Making Moderation Demands

Monday November 28, 2022 10:42 am PST by
Apple has cut back on its Twitter advertising, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet, Musk said that Apple has "mostly stopped" its Twitter ads, asking if Apple hates "free speech." Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should "publish all censorship actions" taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had moderation discussions ...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...