iDSP? Apple is quietly planning its own automated ad buying tools

Having disrupted the programmatic ad market for its rivals, Apple could soon start selling ‘privacy-safe’ inventory on iPhones, iPads and Macs via its own DSP… if a recent job ad is to be believed.

Apple already presents ads in apps like the App Store, News, and Stocks as well as more recent launches such as during Apple TV sports streams. 

But now, Apple is expanding on its ad offering by building a demand-side platform (DSP), according to a new job ad spotted recently. 

Often referred to as part of programmatic marketing, a DSP is a type of software that lets advertisers buy ad slots on platforms with the help of automation to optimise their placements.

The tech giant is now looking for a senior manager for a DSP in its ads platforms business. The successful applicant will be tasked to “drive the design of the most privacy-forward, sophisticated demand side platform possible,” according to the job listing

Revealing more about Apple’s plans, the ideal candidate would have experience building a mobile-centric DSP and knowledge of optimising “mobile campaigns using measurement and attribution".

Encouraging advertisers to spend more with Apple… and less on Meta and Google 

A DSP can massively speed up and scale the ad buying process based on performance indicator factors, and aided by machine learning. 

It can also help advertisers closely match with their intended audience demographics, test multiple variants of an ad campaign with dynamic A/B tests, and optimise and increase spending around the best-performing campaigns.

In Apple’s case, a DSP could be used to power Search Ads in the App Store and media placements on showcase events, such as its recent partnership with Major League Baseball in the US.

The move follows Apple’s recent crackdown on privacy tracking across its platforms, with tracking removed by default. This has hurt rivals such as Google and Meta who have lost significant visibility of their users on Apple’s platforms, and ad dollars as a result. 

It now looks like that crackdown has also opened the path for Apple to fill the gap left by rivals, and leverage its own bountiful first-party audience data. 

This privacy-safe Apple approved marketplace could lure ad buyers who will shift more budgets toward this new DSP and away from Google and other third-party dependent platforms.