Mobile game advertisers shift budget to Android after Apple’s privacy-first changes

Those implemented by Apple in the last year have caused mobile ads to shift to Android platforms.
After IDFA and ATT advertisers report
For advertisers, privacy really matters.

After Apple announced the IDFA protocol in September 2020, a movement began in the mobile advertising world. The IDFA protocol, which aims to ensure users’ data security, has affected both users and advertisers in many ways. The repercussions of these effects are examined in Tenjin’s report dubbed “Appocalypse Now: Mobile advertisers have their say on privacy-first marketing.”

After the IDFA announcement in 2020, ATT (App Tracking Transparency) was implemented with iOS 14.5. With ATT, which aims to protect users’ privacy, users began to frequently encounter notifications on their mobile Apple devices asking if they want to share their data with third-party applications.

This brought both advantages and disadvantages. User privacy has increased, but access to some games and applications that require data sharing consent has also been restricted. On the other hand, some advertisers had difficulty accessing the data they needed to provide users with more accurate ad optimization.

Following this situation, Apple made SkadNetwork (SKAD) arrangements in September 2021 -about six months after ATT. Data collected from users is anonymized, and advertisers are given direct access to this anonymous data. While this reduced advertisers’ problems, it did not completely solve them.

IDFA, ATT, and SKAD impacted advertisers’ revenues!

Tenjin asked advertisers how their iOS revenues were affected after Apple’s IDFA protocol. 75% of advertisers surveyed said their revenue was negatively impacted. According to data from advertisers who disclosed revenue information, ad revenue for games and apps decreased by 39%.

With iOS 14.5, advertisers began to seek/develop new marketing methods. Some advertisers trying to comply with ATT’s requirements have been successful, while others have focused more on the Android market. Some considered continuing to operate on iOS “putting the future of their business at risk.”

In September 2021, Apple made a change to the SKAD protocol. Advertisers were granted direct access to anonymous SKAD data. Although this situation relieved the advertisers a little, it did not solve all the problems. On the other hand, some doubted “how reliable” these data were.

State of trust in SKAN data

The vast majority of advertisers are still enthusiastic about operating on iOS. On the other hand, this number is lower than before IDFA, and there is a budget shift from iOS to Android.

There will be a shift from iOS to Android

According to Tenjin data, 59% of advertisers surveyed plan to move their ad budgets from iOS to Android. This does not mean that these advertisers will leave iOS completely. Only some advertisers will now allocate more budget to advertising on Android platforms.

Tenjin says this shift could undermine iOS’ dominance over mobile ad spending. Besides Google Play, some other Android platforms are also on the rise. 93% of advertisers surveyed by Tenjin say they are considering entering alternative Android markets outside of Google Play. The most popular alternative Android ecosystems are as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy Store (50% of respondents)
  • Huawei App Gallery (%40)
  • Cafe Bazaar (%37)

Today’s data shows that advertisers allocate nearly equal budgets for iOS and Android. Participants state that they give 53% of their advertising budget to iOS and 47% to Android. This indicates that the projected budget shift has not started yet.

Mobile marketing harder

68% of advertisers surveyed said that post-ATT marketing is now more difficult. Here is a summary of some of the statistics gathered from the game and app teams surveyed:

Mobile marketing was harder in 2021%68%43
Revenue drops after Apple privacy policy changes%42%34
Felt future of business at risk%84%67
Ad budget shift from iOS to Android%63%48
Plan to spend on alternative Android ecosystems%99%86
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