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Pathmatics Blog

How Much Does Apple Spend on Advertising? A Look at Apple's Budget

February 02 2017 by Jordan Kramer

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. 

So, how much does Apple spend on advertising? Using Pathmatics proprietary ad intelligence 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




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




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


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?

Try Pathmatics ad intelligence for free. With this data, you can check up on Apple, and any of your other competitors, whenever you want. We’ll walk you through how it works and show you how it can immediately improve your business.

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About Author
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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