iOS 14 tracking changes sees big ad spending drop, tumbling prices

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What you need to know

  • Apple's iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency changes are having a big impact on ad spending.
  • One report says that ad prices have already dropped by 10%.
  • It could cost the industry billions if the trend continues.

A new report says that iOS 14 tracking changes could cost the advertising revenue billions if an early trend in spending decline continues.

From The Independent:

Apple's recent privacy crackdown has dealt a major blow to advertisers and app developers, with spending on ads dropping as users embrace the iPhone maker's anti-tracking features. Advertising company Blis said that the cost of adverts had dropped by 11pc in cases where users had blocked companies from tracking their activity across different apps.

The report says the downturn has been "more pronounced" in some countries, apparently in the UK the average cost of adverts has fallen by 36%, saying a sustained decline "would knock billions off" the industry.

Apple introduced iOS 14.5 to the public in April, allowing users to opt-in or out of tracking across multiple apps and websites by companies using an IDFA identifier.

Research conducted by iMore in April suggests that only 2% of iOS users will select the 'allow' option when it comes to tracking. Some (22%) it would depend on which app was asking the question, but a staggering 71.6% of users said they would be opting out of tracking.

Facebook has been a vocal critic of the move stating it will harm small businesses that rely on advertising to reach customers.

A new report says that Apple may be upping the ante on its own advertising services used on the App Store, where developers can pay to have their apps advertised in the search tab on the App Store.

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

  • Boo hoo for advertising. We have had advertising for 70 years on TV. But the ads are NOT intrusive, are they? Ads don't float across the screen during a movie, do they? Ads don't surround your TV screen, do they? No. We know when ads are coming, so we can change the channel. Only on computers do advertisers think is it OK to clog your screen with BS ads. With multiple videos all running at the same time. With ads that can NOT be stopped or ignored. Go F yourselves, advertisers. That Facebook is TOTALLY against this is all you need to know.
  • Aw, you left out the bad part of why in a normal, decent world would private actors have a right to spy on people?
  • I cannot believe this with more or clearer data. Too big a drop too quickly. And there are these factors:
    The feature's operation is somewhat misdescribed. Complete blocking of tracking was a feature in iOS for a couple of years. (Can't remember whether it was turned on by default or not.) What the new feature does is makes it easy for the people who want to be tracked. Given all that, there is no reason for any drop and certainly not a huge one.
    Also, the two big sellers of ads are Google and Facebook. Both's actions are always opaque. But Facebook is also a scummy, sketchy operation. I completely do not put past Facebook to created this advertising disaster to put pressure on Apple. Thiel, Zuckerberg and Sandberg are exactly the kind of people who'd pull crap like this. Indeed, Facebook's entire advertising operation is essentially a scam of gouging buyers.