So say Adam Satariano and Alex Webb of Bloomberg:
Among the ideas being pursued, Apple is considering paid search, a Google-like model in which companies would pay to have their app shown at the top of search results based on what a customer is seeking. For instance, a game developer could pay to have its program shown when somebody looks for “football game,” “word puzzle” or “blackjack.”
Paid search, which Google turned into a multibillion-dollar business, would give Apple a new way to make money from the App Store. The growing marketing budgets of app developers such as “Clash of Clans” maker Supercell Oy have proven to be lucrative sources of revenue for Internet companies, including Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.
Paid search tends to help bigger companies more than it does smaller ones. I certainly hope there are plans to address the challenges that face indie developers who are making great apps but struggle to get by.
Update: Apple doesn’t need “a new way to make money from the App Store”. They need a way to get developers to make more money. They need to de-crappify the Store and improve the chances of success for smaller developers. I certainly hope that sentence is Santarino and Webb’s interpretation, because if the objective of a project like this is truly to make Apple more money, that’s extremely concerning.