Advertisers may need 4-6 months to recover from iOS 14 changes

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What you need to know

  • Changes to advertising tracking are on the way in iOS 14.
  • A new report says ad impressions that use IDFA could fall by as much as 50%.
  • It claims that advertisers will see a slow but steady recovery over four to six months.

A new report into upcoming iOS 14 changes says advertisers may need up to six months to recover lost revenue.

From Digiday:

The real impact on media spending from Apple's imminent tracking crackdown isn't yet clear, but the actual amount is likely to be severe — at least in the short-term.

Digiday says that based on assumptions that marketers will still need to acquire customers to grow, and that the pandemic has strengthened the perception of gaming as a mainstream advertising brand, we can expect the following:

Given these two parallel views, marketers believe spending will recover from the knock of Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) plan, but the trajectory will be U-shaped, not V-shaped — a dip to start, followed by a slow but steady recovery over four to six months.

One SVP of growth at a mobile game publisher, Tilting Point's Jane-Sebastien Laverge told the publication "Once the ATT update arrives, there will be a drop in media efficiency for performance marketers who have fewer Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) they're able to use. Then it's going to slowly grow again as those marketers learn to walk in this new environment."

The report says the impact of changes, which mean every app on your iPhone will have to ask your permission to track you across services, will be "sharp":

ad rates for impressions without the mobile identifier will slide anywhere between 35% (the optimist's view) and 50% (the pragmatist's view) once it becomes harder to track the people on Apple mobile devices.

That means they won't be valued as much, getting cheaper as a result. The report notes how most marketers are planning to shift ad spending away from iOS as the changes take hold, before reinvesting once "they've figured out how to refine those impressions with contextual data and other non-identifier related signals." The report overall, however, does point to recovery within the industry:

How quickly that recovery occurs depends on several factors. The main one is the readiness of the ad tech marketers use to buy in-app advertising. Companies that made the early adjustments are more likely to convince marketers they can still reach the right people without IDFA. Indeed, demand for Limit Ad Tracking traffic — those users who have opted out of targeted advertising — has been on the rise for some time as marketers are using it to see how mobile ads perform on the back of non-personalized traffic.

You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9