Apple privacy lockdown pushes advertising budgets to Android

Apple privacy
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The majority of iPhone and iPad permission prompts have been declined since Apple started making apps ask iOS users to opt into tracking back in April. Following the introduction of the new privacy rules, advertising prices on the Android platform have increased as prices on iOS have fallen.

  • Since the tracking changes took effect with the introduction of iOS 14.5, Apple users have been receiving a high volume of prompts from apps asking permission to track them. According to ad-measurement firm Branch Metrics Inc., less than 33% of iOS users opt in.
  • The impact of the change has been slow to show in market data because users have only seen prompts after they upgraded to the most recent version of Apple’s operating system. Branch Metrics reports that, as of June 22, more than 70% of iOS devices have now been upgraded.
  • Ahead of the move, digital-ad industry insiders warned that the changes would limit advertisers’ access to consumer data and damage ad revenues on the platform. Proving them correct, there has been a drop in prices for mobile ads directed at iOS users. Conversely, the price of ads targeting users on Android has increased by about 30% according to ad agency Tinuiti.
Apple’s core business
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, the problem for digital advertisers is that they have lost the granular data that made mobile ads on iOS devices effective. Once iOS users opt out of tracking, advertisers are no longer able to bid for them and the rapid drop in Apple users has driven up demand on Android.
  • For publishers, losing the ability to charge a premium for targeted ads was predicted to mean a revenue loss of up to 40%. But while publishers could be hit hard by the iOS privacy play, Apple is unlikely to feel the pinch. The company does not sell ads in many of its own apps and unlike the 15% it takes on app sales, it doesn’t get a percentage of third-party advertising bookings.
  • Between June 1st and July 1st, iOS mobile advertising has fallen by about one-third according to ad-measurement firm Tenjin Inc. They reported Android spending up 10% for the same period and with almost three quarters of smartphones world-wide using the Android operating system, there is a hefty pool of potential consumers for advertisers to target.
Android rising

With advertising at the heart of its business model, Google will welcome the boost to Android advertising. And, reporting more than $100 billion in annual digital ad sales, Google has a clear interest in supporting revenue from targeted advertising to Android users.

But that does mean trying to balance increasing demands of privacy-conscious mobile consumers with the financial needs of developers and advertisers. “We’re always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy while enabling a healthy, ad-supported app ecosystem,” a Google spokesman told Bloomberg earlier this year.

Elsewhere, Microsoft is bringing Android apps to its new Windows 11 app Store. The world’s first software giant announced a streamlined way to use Android apps once its Windows 11 operating system is launched. There is no official release date yet but forecasts are for before the end of the year.

Spotlighting the mobile advertising opportunity more broadly, content recommendation engine Taboola is working with Samsung to offer news content and news curation services to users of the Samsung Internet Browser in Brazil. The move is positioned as offering new engagement opportunities for device manufacturers, publishers and brands. Publishers will see increased traffic at no additional cost and advertisers will have more opportunities to reach Taboola readers at scale.

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