Apple Won’t Disclose Its Advertising Spend—But We Will

Feb 2, 2017 11:00:00 AM

In 2015, Apple increased its ad spend by an enormous 50 percent for a record $1.8 billion. Then, in 2016—we don’t know. The company chose not to disclose its ad spend in its 2016 annual report.  

While Apple is not required to separate advertising expenses from its Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses, this may come as a blow to many industry competitors. If you’ve been closely monitoring Apple’s ad spend and are looking for a way around this new barrier, we can help you out. 

Using Pathmatics proprietary data, we pulled Apple’s year-to-date digital advertising spend from January 1 to December 31, 2016. This data is for Apple’s digital advertising across desktop, mobile, and video combined. Enjoy.


Apple’s Overall 2016 Spend

 

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As the 18th highest digital advertising spender in 2016, Apple spent more than $78 million on digital ads. However, this massive budget doesn’t even come close to Apple’s 2015 digital spend of $131 million (January 1 – December 31, 2015).

A majority, 80 percent, of 2016 ad spend went to video advertising on desktop, with display/desktop at 17 percent and mobile at just 1 percent.  

 

Spend Trends

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Apple's largest spend peak was on October 1, when the company hit nearly $20 million in spend. Video alone hit more than $13 million, while desktop also spiked at more than $5 million. Mobile and desktop even saw a small boost in spend. October was a big month in general for Apple, with campaigns for the updated Apple Watch Series 2 and the release of their new MacBook Pro. 

 

Budget Allocation

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Most of Apple’s advertising spend was direct (99 percent), with less than 1 percent going to complex media. Not surprisingly, with 80 percent of the budget invested in video advertising, 80% of the company’s spend went directly to YouTube.

The second and third top sites that featured Apple advertising were MLB.com, with just more than 8 percent of the spend share, and Vogue.com with a little more than 3 percent. 

 

Top Advertisements

Apple's top creative in 2016, in terms of spend, was an advertisement for the iPad Pro, which appeared on YouTube, as well as a diverse array of music artists’ Vevo channels, from Eminem to Shakira. Apple spent more than $8.5 million on this ad distribution.

Apple’s second top creative hit just over $3 million in spend and features the Apple Watch Series 2. This ad appears on YouTube, as well as a variety of Vevo channels, including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and, again, Eminem.

**All trademarks & copyrights property of their respective owners.
Source: Pathmatics US Data, 1/1/16-1/31/16.


Want to Know More About Apple’s Advertising Budget?

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Jordan Kramer

Written by Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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