By: Billy Boulia + Kathleen Low|Feb 4, 2021

As an advertiser in today’s digital space, regulations are constantly evolving which can impact the way you reach your audiences. Here’s what you need to know about the latest Apple update.

In June 2020, Apple announced its iOS 14 update which includes new user privacy regulations with changes to its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). The data retrieved from the IDFA is used by advertisers to look at mobile app activity such as ads clicked, events triggered and ad spend. Advertisers then use this data to deliver customized messaging to users.

As early as this month, iOS apps will be required to request user consent, explicitly providing information on how the specific app collects data and tracks user activity. Users will then be prompted to opt-in or out of in-app ad tracking. If users choose to opt-out, this will likely affect advertisers’ ability to track and target users within apps on iOS devices.

The industry is estimating that anywhere between 50% to 95% of users will opt-out of ad tracking. While many of the changes will be in real-time, rbb has some immediate recommendations to consider including the below:

  • As we become less reliant on behavioral targeting within the app ecosystem, contextual targeting should play a larger role in advertiser’s strategies.
  • Seek partnerships with publishers who have access to rich first party data, including walled garden networks.
  • Regularly collect, segment and nurture first-party data.

Key Takeaways:

  1. With the opt-out of IDFA tracking option for iOS apps, it will become increasingly difficult to serve personalized ads and users with multiple messages.
  2. Real-time data and performance reporting as well as the ability to track multiple touch points will be reduced. In addition, app activity and website custom audiences will likely decrease in size, influencing retargeting, exclusion targeting, segmentation and lookalike audiences.
  3. Walled garden networks are expected to become even stronger while smaller networks are likely to face the brunt of the effects.

To what degree advertisers will be impacted by this update cannot be determined until the privacy features are fully rolled out. Still, it is important that all advertisers prepare accordingly by staying informed and updated on the latest industry developments.


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