Apple has set up a “secret team” to look at changes to its App Store, including potential paid promotion opportunities for developers, Bloomberg said.
One option mooted is a Google-type sponsored search option, which would allow developers to pay to have their apps listed more highly in user searches.
While Apple takes a cut on sales made through the store, in-app purchases and subscriptions, it has not so far benefited from developers’ app marketing budgets.
But with major app players such as King and Supercell even going as far as television advertising, there is clearly an opportunity for Apple to get a share of a budget which would otherwise be spent elsewhere.
And for many years the App Store discovery model has come in for criticism, primarily as it became more difficult for developers to get apps in front of users as the catalogue swelled and the charts became dominated by a number of well-resourced companies.
Paid-for promotion is one way for the company to get around this, although it is a solution that relies on the size of developers’ promotional wallets.
According to Bloomberg, around 100 staff are working on the project, including engineers reallocated from its iAd advertising efforts.
Separately, Apple has kicked off an App Store promotion to raise money for World Wildlife Fund, to mark Earth Day later this month.
Proceeds from the App for Earth initiative will be donated to the charity.