MoPub: Apple's UDID policy costs iOS developers 24% in ad revenue

By on April 27, 2012, 5:30 PM

MoPub, a mobile ad company, claims that Apple's policy of rejecting ads which utilize unique device identifiers (UDID) is resulting in an ad revenue loss of 24 percent for iOS developers. MoPub arrived at this finding after analyzing three months worth of ad data spanning billions of impressions from their own ad network.

The data provides evidence of how a world without ad conversion data from UDID (or an appropriate substitute) could hurt revenues for developers. It found publisher inventory with UDIDs that were sent to advertisers earned an average eCPM of 0.76 cents, compared to 0.58 cents for those ad impressions without the unique device identification, representing a 24% lower eCPM.

Source: mopub.com press release

A device's UDID, as the name implies, identifies a device. By extension, it can also be used to identify the user's unique presence online and -- when combined with the right information -- can even be used to personally identify that user. Unlike a cookie though, a UDID cannot be deleted or changed, so once someone links a UDID to you and what you are doing online, the cat's out of the bag. As a result, Apple had barred the use of UDID strings by advertisers almost a year ago. Interestingly though, as MoPub points out, Apple isn't doing a very good job at catching developers who continue to submit apps which break the rules.

Apple’s recent response to UDID usage has raised concerns among thousands of app businesses that could be affected if conversion tracking data is not available, particularly developers of free apps that rely on advertising as their primary source of revenue. With no apparent option from Apple in sight, players across the mobile ad ecosystem are pursuing several different alternatives, increasing fragmentation in an already fragmented industry. While some developers are continuing to use UDID data until Apple’s position is clear, others are removing UDIDs and other data designed to help ad performance and pursuing one of four short-term solutions.

Source: mopub.com press release

It probably doesn't surprise most that a mechanism which can be used to better identify a person carries intrinsic value to advertisers. But it is interesting that MoPub has managed to actually assign it a monetary value. Although we've heard firms say iOS is more lucrative than Android, some developers may still be discontent with squandering potential ad revenue.

In terms of advertising, MoPub also discusses some third-party solutions to the UDID problem but points out that no solutions exist that universally address conversion tracking needs at scale and address government privacy concerns. Until then, some developers will continue to risk using UDID data in their ads while others will shy away from the practice and take a 24 percent hit.




User Comments: 3

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Although we've heard firms say iOS is more lucrative than Android, some developers may feel a little sore after hearing they could be losing out on nearly a quarter of their ad revenue.

I don't get the purpose of this sentence.

Firms say iOS is more lucrative than Android, to Google, not developers (although that would probably be true, but it still carries no correlation to the former statement). I fail to see the "unless" here.

Ahem, paraphrasing:

Although it's known Google makes more off of iOS than from Android, some developers may feel a little sore (you know, as in, they wouldn't feel that way unless Google making more money off of iOS wasn't indeed the case) after hearing they are actually losing nearly a quarter in ad revenue... Wait, in contrast, why would developers feel any better knowing Google makes more off of Android? You following what I'm saying?

Sorry if I sound like an ass, but I'm a grammar Hitler. >.<

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I don't get the purpose of this sentence.

Firms say iOS is more lucrative than Android, to Google, not developers (although that would probably be true, but it still carries no correlation to the former statement). I fail to see the "unless" here.

Don't worry about being a grammar Hitler. We all make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. I'll be the first to admit that's a poorly constructed sentence... one of many I type every day. :-)

Additionally, the link I included was confusing. I actually intended to link to this, which explains that developers generate more revenue selling their apps on iOS than they do on Android.

The analysis shows that Android owners tend to shy away from purchasing commercial apps, at least in comparison to iPhone and iPad users who purchased about 12 times more paid apps per device. A substantial 13.5 percent of iOS customers purchase apps while only 1.3 percent of Android users even bother with non-free software on their devices

With that in mind, I then wanted to explain that even though developers may make more money with iOS than Android, they may still be miffed by the fact that ad revenue is 24% lower than it could be.

Guest said:

This is a good thing. The ad whores are trying to grab the cell market. Think how screwed things will get if you start getting sales calls on your cell phones. Or with apps. Apple is doing the right thing. Unlike microsoft with akamai. They have spam built into windows. The 127.0.0.1 loop thing. That serves all your adds. Microsoft is in bed with all spam and it is kind of laughable when there are articles abbout how microsoft fights spam and takes bot nets off line. You mean the one they don't get sales shares from?

psycros psycros said:

This is a good thing. The ad whores are trying to grab the cell market. Think how screwed things will get if you start getting sales calls on your cell phones. Or with apps. Apple is doing the right thing. Unlike microsoft with akamai. They have spam built into windows. The 127.0.0.1 loop thing. That serves all your adds. Microsoft is in bed with all spam and it is kind of laughable when there are articles abbout how microsoft fights spam and takes bot nets off line. You mean the one they don't get sales shares from?

Don't forget that nearly half of all Windows malware relys on back doors that Microsoft put there so they and their partners could spy on you. Screw the advertisers and the ad mongering devs. I'd sooner pay for apps than give away my privacy and never see a web search where the results weren't hopelessly skewed.

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