Mobile advertising in India is on an upward growth trajectory, supported by the increase in the number of mobile phone users and affordable data plans. According to Dentsu's Digital Advertising in India 2021 report, mobile advertising spend is projected to reach a share of 64% by the year 2022.
But the industry is also facing complex challenges, such as the new iOS 14.5 guidelines introduced in late April 2021. To get a better picture of the changes and navigate the movements in the market, it is essential for mobile app developers and marketers to gather and analyze the data from the moment the update went live. With the help of data, marketers can derive insights, gain more clarity and plan their next steps.
The ramifications of iOS 14.5 are much broader than measurement and attribution. Thus, in addition to consent rates, marketers need to look at other indicators. In this article, I will share some of the most discussed topics, such as consent rate opt-ins, SKAdNetwork and ad revenue impact to provide a real-life snapshot of what has changed.
From iOS 14.5 onward, apps are required to ask for consent from the mobile device user to track their activities across websites and apps and serve them targeted ads. Since the privacy update's rollout in late April, data gathered from mobile technology company AppLovin gaming apps, show consent rates much higher than initially projected.
Based on data and trends observed, consent rates will average 40 per cent and could even trend up to 50 per cent over time. There are key considerations for marketers in terms of opt-ins.
Apps with high install rates from advertisements have materially higher consent rates
Consumers are finding new games through ads, and they are inherently more interested in seeing relevant advertisements because they are used to finding the content they are interested in this way. For instance, in the data presented above, Animal Transform and Save the Girl! are hyper-casual games consumers discovered via advertising.
A large portion of their users have found the games via ads and will therefore be likely to find other games and apps through ads displayed within these games. This is evidenced by the consent rates for these games already reaching 70 per cent and higher.
The key to achieving this high level of consent is to simplify and clearly explain the value of consenting and sharing data to get relevant ads. As the user has benefited from being served relevant ads in the past, they will appreciate the value of continuing to receive them. Transparency drives trust and helps users make informed decisions.
Consent rates will continue to increase over time
Contrary to popular opinion, overall consent rates will trend upward as iOS 14.5+ adoption rates grow. Currently, the iOS 14.5 adoption is below 15 per cent. However, as the adoption rate rises and more apps start asking for consent, users will become increasingly educated on the value of relevant advertising, which will help increase opt-in rates.
When Apple announced SKAdNetwork 2.0 in June 2020, in preparation for iOS 14, the industry reacted by claiming that its attribution solution was not accurate and would not see enough adoption among publishers. The extra time between the initial announcement of iOS 14 and the actual release of iOS 14.5, however, allowed the ecosystem to prepare and build models and solutions to accommodate these changes.
Since the release of iOS 14.5, we have conducted tests on SKAdNetwork for downloads and re-downloads, and the results show that the accuracy is a near-perfect match with traditional attribution. The vast majority of inventory on iOS also now supports SKAdNetwork, and we were able to report these conversions accurately.
Apple did a great job of creating a solution that works, and functionalities can be further improved as Apple adds more features to the SKAdNetwork.
Reports published after the initial announcement of iOS 14 indicated that the majority of the industry expected a 50 per cent decay to ad revenues. To verify the real impact of iOS 14.5 on ad revenue with tangible, data-based results, we worked with AppLovin's mediation platform — MAX.
Based on data, the remaining iOS users who are not consenting resulted in a 30 per cent drop in cost-per-mille (CPM). However, the higher CPMs triggered by the iOS and Android users who opted-in cushioned the impact — generating more ad revenue for publishers and subsequently making up for the loss in ad revenue from the opt-out group.
Initial findings indicate that the industry will continue to maintain its rapid growth and that the ad ecosystem will continue to flourish. While the iOS 14.5 update has had a significant impact on the way developers and marketers' approach mobile advertising, the results in terms of consent rate opt-ins, SKAdNetwork accuracy and adoption and ad revenue are encouraging., They show that the market, consumers and platforms are finding ways to adapt.
The writer is Regional VP, INSEA, Adjust. Views are personal.