This app “Contains ads” label starts showing in Google Play store
The new label has been spotted in the wild, but it has not rolled out to all users.
Last year, Google began requiring developers to note whether their apps are ad-supported. This week, the company has begun rolling out a “Contains ads” label on apps in the Google Play Store.
The label appears below the Open button in the same place where the “In-app purchases” label appears when relevant. The screen shot below was posted on Reddit Wednesday and first reported by Android Police.
The designation can apply to any app that contains ads, including banners, interstitials, sponsored articles and in-feed native ads (think Facebook and Twitter, for example) and even house ads (though that doesn’t include “More Apps” sections). Google doesn’t list video ads specifically, but presumably those also count.
Google also notes that, though app developers are responsible for declaring whether their apps contain ads, Google can verify the labeling and choose to apply the “Contains ads” label if warranted.
The rollout appears to be going slowly initially, with very few sightings.
It will be interesting to see if the label has a measurable impact on ad-supported app downloads. While it’s certainly a good move for Google to let consumers know if free apps come with an ad-viewing cost, the number of users actually willing to pay for apps has been declining. Research firm eMarketer estimated that just 33 percent of US users would pay for apps in 2015.
“The preference for free, ad-supported apps is rising among mobile users, and the share of smartphone and tablet users who pay for apps will actually tick downward over the next four years, despite the continued growth in the number of smartphone and tablet users and the number of app users overall,” said Cathy Boyle, senior mobile analyst at eMarketer.