What to Expect with the Release of Apple iOS14

The announcement of Apple’s latest OS update, and the changes it would bring for mobile app advertisers, has shaken up the advertising industry. 

At WWDC20, Apple announced iOS14 would provide consumers with the ability to opt-out of sharing their personal data with third-party apps for the purpose of ad targeting. Previously, apps and platforms relied on each Apple user’s unique identifier, IDFA, in order to target and attribute app install marketing campaigns running in-app.

Because Apple will now actually require consumers to opt-in to sharing their IDFA with advertisers, industry experts expect as high as 80% of consumers to opt-out of sharing their identifier for targeting purposes. 

Consumers have needed greater controls and transparency around how various advertisers and platforms use personal data for quite some time. For most end users, this is a welcome change that ensures greater visibility into how their data is being used. 

However, app advertisers and platforms, like Outbrain, now need to find adequate alternatives to IDFA to reach consumers with relevant campaigns while providing the best possible user experience. Here’s how Outbrain plans to do so: 

Adopting Apple’s SKAdNetwork Framework 

First, a bit of background — IDFAs are important to app marketers because they allow apps to identify exactly which marketing campaigns ultimately drove an app install. Now that IDFAs will be unavailable for a large portion of Apple device users, app marketers are primarily concerned about their ability to attribute the impact of their in-app marketing campaigns on app installs. 

To address this challenge, Apple has announced they will allow ad platforms to participate in the SKAdNetwork. Apple’s SKAdNetwork is essentially a sandbox that allows platforms and advertisers to continue to attribute mobile app installs when a consumer’s IDFA is not present. 

Outbrain plans to fully participate in the SKAdNetwork, and is working with our publisher partners to ensure compliance with the required parameters — so that consumers can maintain privacy and control, while advertisers can continue to reach the most relevant users with the in-app marketing campaigns most relevant to them. 

By participating in the SKAdNetwork, Outbrain will be able to provide more accurate performance data for app install campaigns running on iOS14 directly within Outbrain’s buying Dashboard.

Working with our Third-Party Mobile Measurement Partners

Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) face a high amount of uncertainty following the announcement of iOS14’s changes. Most MMPs are now actively investigating how to continue to provide clients with deterministic attribution (tied directly to a consumer’s device), in addition to the solutions provided by the SKAdNetwork. 

With that being said, Outbrain is actively exploring how we can continue to support our third-party Mobile Measurement Partners and allow clients to continue to report on app campaign performance with methods adjacent to the SKAdNetwork. 

Going forward, Outbrain will support attribution for campaigns running on iOS14 apps directly via the SKAdNetwork, and will also continue to support third-party attribution from our partners where feasible. 

Leveraging the Value of Outbrain’s Extensive Network 

Most importantly, Outbrain is continuing to invest in methods for app marketers to drive the outcomes they need outside of apps alone. Outbrain has massive scale across the open web — including mobile web and desktop. 

In fact, our app marketers currently run the vast majority of their app install campaigns across mobile web traffic. Mobile web has proven to be an extremely successful platform for driving app installs — delivering high conversion rates, low CPAs and CPIs, and positive ROAS. 

As we’ve previously written about on our blog, various platforms (desktop included) can deliver surprising positive results when it comes to app install marketing campaigns. With Outbrain’s unmatched scale across organic publishers on the open web (reaching nearly 1 billion consumers per month across the globe), app marketers can ensure they continue to surpass their app campaign goals. 

This is especially important to consider given the impact that Apple’s iOS14 update is expected to have on social platforms, who primarily advertise to users within apps. iOS14’s change to the ability to market to consumers in-app will have a massive impact on platforms like Facebook specifically, as Outbrain’s Head of Product, Lior Charka, recently wrote. 

As Facebook said itself in a recent white paper: campaigns that don’t leverage personalized signals lead to a 50% drop in publisher revenue on Facebook Audience Network. This means that without the ability to use IDFA for personalization, advertiser ability to reach appropriate consumers and publisher revenue on Facebook Audience Network is likely to plummet.

It is now more important than ever for advertisers to diversify their media mix and explore how to drive results outside of walled gardens — capitalizing on the potential the open web and organic publishers have to drive strong performance results for app marketers. 

Check out our recent blog on Outbrain’s suite of solutions for app marketers to hit their install and ROAS goals here

Continuing Our Role of Trusted Partner for App Marketers

Outbrain has helped app marketers achieve their performance goals on the open web for nearly 13 years — and will continue to invest in solutions that ultimately provide the best user experience for our consumers, while delivering results for our advertisers. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Outbrain’s solutions for app marketers, reach out here

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