Apple iOS14 Update will change mobile advertising

What the technical details mean for the mobile space

Like the world hasn’t changed enough in the last 6 months, Apple decided to throw one more big change on the Mobile advertising world with their iOS 14 release that was supposed to be released in September.  Apple announced they were pushing some of the changes to Q1 of 2021.   

Those in the marketing industry have all seen the signs that personal privacy is the hottest topic in digital advertising with the implementation of GDPR, the passing of CCPA and Google’s big announcement that it plans to phase out third-party cookie tracking in Chrome. Apple’s new iOS 14 update puts personal privacy front and center in the Mobile world. While this update will mean a lot of changes in the user experience for iPhone users, there are two big privacy changes coming that will affect the way advertisers use the Mobile space.

  1. App developers must allow users to opt in or opt out of data sharing on a per-app basis prior to their IDFA (identifier for advertisers) being disclosed to third parties
  2. Users will have the option to share their approximate location by default with each App rather than a precise location

Why do we care? 

iPhones account for 46% of mobile users in the United States, so if you are advertising in the mobile space, almost half your audience are found on iPhones.

Many of our clients utilize location tracking which allows us to advertise when a consumer is within a certain geographical location or if that person has visited that location recently.  Having the option for users to share their approximate location as opposed to precise will mean that the data we are getting from this tactic will not be as clean or as specific which will lead to impression waste. 

Many audience segments are supplemented by app usage. We look at the apps on someone’s phone, and how they use them, to determine behaviors, interests, and demographics which allow us to have a more targeted audience from day one of a campaign, as opposed to blasting impressions and waiting to see who interacts with ads. 

These are just a few of the immediate changes we expect to see when the new update is released.  As use cases are brought before Apple to approve or reject, we will see additional changes that we may not be able to predict before it’s released.

How are we adapting?

Heavier usage and leveraging of 1st party data. NDP shifted our plan/buy approach over a year ago to start working with tech companies who sell media. The ability to connect directly with partners who own the app or the app subscription information gives us X advantage. As of information available today, iOS Version 14 only applies to those app developers who are selling the data to 3rd party vendors. 

We are also working with our current partners who use 3rd party data to understand what their strategy will be moving forward, investigating the methodology of how these new strategies will work, and ensuring that these partners are still the most strategic fit for our clients. 

Wait and see. We know this update will create change, but to what degree is not 100% sure at this time.  We are working with our current partners to prepare and take precautionary measures so our clients are protected from the beginning and monitoring Apple’s decisions moving forward.