Marketing 3 min read

Apple's iOS 14 Could Disrupt In-App Advertising

David Grandmougin /

David Grandmougin /

Factors such as consumer behavior and various economic situations can influence the app economy. However, Google and Apple seem to maintain greater control using multiple devices.

These include commissions on in-app purchases, subscriptions, as well as rules surrounding data and in-app advertising.

For example, the system settings for iOS 13 features a Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) option. That way, apps on iPhones and iPads won’t use Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).

Without the IDFA, advertisers will have less information with which to target their ads. This will, in turn, lead to fewer insights into the activities that result from the in-app advertising.

According to a marketing analytics firm, Singular, over 30 percent of iPhone users in the U.S. signed up for LAT as of March 2020.

But the number is set to rise even further due to upcoming changes in iOS 14. In other words, Apple is set to upend app monetization on its platform with the newest version of iOS.

Here’s how.

How iOS 14 Could Disrupt In-App Advertising

As said earlier, the Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) option was in the operating system settings in iOS 13. However, Apple is bringing this option to the forefront of apps in the latest OS version.

Thanks to a new pop-up in apps, iPhone users have to opt-in to allow app publishers to use Apple’s IDFA. What’s more, the pop-up to request ad tracking must follow Apple’s suggested wordings closely.

As you can imagine, such changes will significantly impact the in-app advertising industry.

In a statement to eMarketer, co-founder and CEO of Branch Metrics, Alex Austin said:

 “There are still a lot of details to be worked out on exactly how its systems are going to work in a post-IDFA world. But so far, it definitely seems like a very apocalyptic scenario.”

Indeed, it does. According to recent estimates, roughly 85 to 95 percent of users will choose the LAT option on their iOS 14 devices.

Expectedly, the high LAT opt-in rate could discourage publishers from asking for permission. In the worst cases, some users could exit Apple’s iOS altogether.

Using SKAdNetwork as a Partial Solution

An alternative is to use Apple’s tracking solution, SKAdNetwork, to collect aggregate information about app installs.

However, Ad networks, publisher apps, and the app advertising for an install need to sign up to the API. Besides, SKAdNetwork has several limitations that could dissuade advertisers. These include:

  • Limited campaigns parameters
  • Delayed notification of conversions — 24 to 48 hours
  • Thresholds for conversion before notifications kick in

But, perhaps the most significant limitation to using SKAdNetwork is it doesn’t send personal information.

The changes to iOS 14 will take effect in early 2021.

Read More: What to Expect from the October 13th Apple Event

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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