Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14 is driving advertisers to Android

nanoguy

Posts: 917   +12
Staff member
The big picture: When Apple announced sweeping privacy changes in iOS 14, companies like Facebook who are heavily reliant on advertising protested their impact. A few months in, one thing is clear: most iOS users don't want to be tracked across apps for advertising purposes, and this is already driving advertisers away from the platform.

With the release of iOS 14.5 last April, Apple brought the much-awaited App Tracking Transparency feature to go with the company's new "privacy nutrition labels." A few months have gone by and the effects are already visible even when Apple delayed the feature to give developers time to implement it into their apps.

Back in May, app analytics firm Flurry reported that almost all users who upgraded their iPhone or iPad to iOS 14.5 within weeks of its release -- 96 percent to be precise -- did not enable in-app tracking on those devices. By the end of that month, advertisers started shifting their spending towards Android.

A new report from the Wall Street Journal says this trend is even stronger, to the point where "prices for mobile ads directed at iOS users have fallen, while ad price has risen for advertisers seeking to target Android users." Ad measurement firm Branch Metrics notes that less than a third of iOS users who upgraded to iOS 14.5 so far have allowed apps to track them across other apps. As of June 22, over 70 percent of iOS devices were upgraded to iOS 14.5 or iOS 14.5.1.

This is an increase from the relatively small 4 percent number observed by Flurry in May, but also indicates a majority of iOS users are privacy-conscious and don't like being fingerprinted for ad tracking across apps. A different ad measurement firm called Tenjin found that as a result, advertiser spend on iOS decreased by one third for the month of June, while ad spending on Android saw a boost of 10 percent over the same period.

Digital ad agency Tinuiti observed a similar trend, with its Facebook clients growing their spending for advertising on Android while slowing their year-over-year growth in ad spend for iOS from 42 percent in May to 25 percent in June. This shouldn't be a surprise, as Facebook was the first to warn of an impending "adpocalypse."

One of the key reasons advertisers have reduced ad spending on Apple's platform is that they "lost much of the granular data that made mobile ads on iOS devices effective and justified their prices." On the other hand, Android ad prices became more valuable, and their price is now 30 percent higher than that of iOS ads.

Take that as you may, some speculate that Apple's intent here is to drive developers to use in-app purchases and subscriptions to make up for lost advertising revenue, which in turn may benefit the company's bottom line thanks to App Store fees. Apple seems pretty serious about this privacy push, as it's blocked attempts by companies like ByteDance, Tencent, and Baidu to circumvent the privacy changes in iOS 14 for Chinese users.

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psycros

Posts: 3,567   +4,345
Apple is doing the right thing. Their probably the ONLY company doing the right thing on privacy. Oh sure, *they* can still track you but they don't sell your info..or at least they claim they don't. Frankly, I don't think Apple would be stupid enough to lie about this - the target on their back is already enormous.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,193   +2,212
Well done Apple, strong work. Finally making more people aware just how much their daily lives are tracked for no good reason.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 277   +325
Apple is doing the right thing. Their probably the ONLY company doing the right thing on privacy. Oh sure, *they* can still track you but they don't sell your info..or at least they claim they don't. Frankly, I don't think Apple would be stupid enough to lie about this - the target on their back is already enormous.
Facebook isn’t “selling your info” either, they are both doing the same thing, they track your behaviour across apps and web and collect your info and the profile you. Then they sell ad space targeted at people who share similar characteristics and behaviour. They never tell their ad customers “who” their exact users are.

If they sold your “info”, they wouldn’t have a business because that is what is valuable on an ongoing basis.

I’m happy apple gives you the option to opt out of this third party data collections, I’m unhappy that apple is doing the EXACT same thing as Facebook in this case with cross app tracking and profiling and selling access to you to advertisers. They just don’t let you opt out and claim its not “third party” because it is done using their OS and their Apple Ad IDs.
 

Wereweeb

Posts: 61   +126
This is just Apple's way of monopolizing tracking and profiling, so they control the ad economy. As much as I hate tracking and targeted ads, no single company should hold this much power.

You want privacy and security? There's no way around going open-source, with Linux and Android custom ROM's (Especially GrapheneOS).
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +386
Advertisers are really going to be displeased when Google & Microsoft starts doing the same. And that crackdown IS coming...
 

ZedRM

Posts: 616   +386
Well done Apple, strong work. Finally making more people aware just how much their daily lives are tracked for no good reason.
While the sarcasm is bluntly obvious in your comment, you're actually spot-on. People need to know these things and have a right to know. This is one of the few things Apple has done that I support.
 
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orbital

Posts: 41   +43
More important than anything is simply blocking apps' internet access via a VPN (firewall) and only enabling it when needed (especially such requiring mic, camera and sharing permissions). I never trusted corporations/developers even about their ToS as the exceptions to the rules in the end will be more than the former.

Those who believe Apple as an organization is to be trusted only as it introduced superficial OS notifications that show the obvious they never knew even exists in the background are as gullible as those keeping Google's Play Protect on, scanning (and logging) sideloaded apps and anything on their phone "to keep them protected" from the bad evil world. Because Google is any better. I wonder if those same guys could tell me if they can overwrite permissions per app on their iPhones as you can do using ADB (Android Debug Bridge) or simple system-level apps such as App Ops, which Alphabet is trying to disable with any newer Android version...

No one can protect you from yourself until you do your homework and start doing it yourself. Yesterday I've seen the phone of a friend showing me something who on the top of everything has named the device after its full real name, to be clear that no one misses it, from apps and bluetooth via WiFi and advertising ID to any nearby devices. Evolution at its full beauty.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,193   +2,212
While the sarcasm is bluntly obvious in your comment, you're actually spot-on. People need to know these things and have a right to know. This is one of the few things Apple has done that I support.
The problem with being British. Even when I'm genuinely not being sarcastic, it comes across sarcastic.