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App Talk South Korea prepares advertisers for the privacy era

Remerge kicked off 2024 with its inaugural App Talk event, a new initiative bringing together the mobile industry’s most influential leaders to discuss the latest trends and exchange knowledge about everything related to in-app programmatic advertising.

The first event took place in Seoul, Korea and featured a keynote presentation from Remerge’s CEO, Pan Katsukis, along with speaker slots from co-hosts AppsFlyer and Sensor Tower. There was also a panel discussion with globally renowned games publisher Nexon and leading financial services app Coinone.

The sessions provided insights on the state of the Korean mobile market, the importance of engagement campaigns and why marketers must rethink their user acquisition and retargeting strategies. On top of this, the agenda covered some of the main challenges facing today’s app advertisers, including the constantly evolving privacy measures on Android and iOS.

This roundup article includes Sensor Tower’s overview of the non-gaming mobile sector, Remerge’s take on how Google’s Android Privacy Sandbox works, AppsFlyer and Team Mint’s insights on running advertising campaigns in the privacy first era, and talking points from the panel discussion.

Sensor Tower shares data and insights for growing non-gaming sector

Sensor Tower, a market intelligence company based in San Francisco, took to the stage to present an overview of the non-gaming app landscape. Joon Yoo, Regional Director APAC Sales, presented the organization's latest data and insights.

According to Sensor Tower’s research, revenue for the non-gaming sector exhibited consistent growth, predominantly on iOS. Entertainment apps, led by TikTok and YouTube, accounted for 27% of total global revenue in 2023, growing from $3.9 billion in 2018 to $14.3 billion in 2023. Meanwhile, shopping apps, exemplified by Temu and SHEIN, reaching 6 billion downloads worldwide, experienced significant growth, while photo and video apps witnessed a decline in new downloads but demonstrated continued revenue increases. Sensor Tower anticipates that global non-gaming mobile app downloads will exceed 105 billion by 2028.

Similar to the global market, non-game mobile app downloads in Korea increased, with shopping apps leading the way. In 2023, South Korea's non-gaming app revenue surpassed $1.2 billion, with entertainment, photos and videos, and books as standout categories.

Worldwide in-app purchase revenue for book comic apps remained on the up, with Sensor Tower highlighting that the amount reached $2.4 billion by October 2023. Korean manga apps, including Piccoma and NAVER WEBTOON, demonstrated significant revenue and retention rates. Piccoma's diverse content offerings, including webtoons, published comics, and web novels, coupled with unique monetization strategies, such as "wait for free", have successfully attracted users, lowered entry barriers, and increased revenue.

Google’s Protected Audiences API will allow mobile marketers to re-engage Android users

Conversations about mobile privacy developments on Android and iOS are becoming louder as consumers continue to demand more control over their data and transparency around how it is shared.

Pan Katsukis, Remerge CEO, joined the App Talk event in Korea to deliver a keynote presentation about the impact of the upcoming Android Privacy Sandbox rollout and how Remerge is preparing for the programmatic advertising industry’s privacy-first future.

Google plans to remove cookies from its Chrome browser and the GAID from its Android operating system with its Privacy Sandbox rollout. The tech giant is collaborating with businesses across the ad tech industry to rollout its Android privacy framework, which will provide solutions for tracking and reporting via the Attribution API, targeting through the Topics and Protected Audiences API, and data collection and handling via the SDK Run Time. While the launch will not happen before October 2024, it’s crucial that mobile advertisers stay informed and adapt their strategies ahead of this date.

« Remerge is working closely with Google to build products on the Protected Audiences API »

Pan Katsukis, Remerge Co-founder and CEO

As Pan Katsukis explained, the Protected Audiences API will fully support remarketing on Android. Part of this API involves adding users to audiences (called 'custom audiences') and storing associated data directly on their device. DSPs, like Remerge, will use these custom audiences as a signal for app retargeting campaigns. The auction for ad impressions will also take place on a user’s device, as opposed to an external server.

“We will move from targeting one user to a pool of users and segmentation will happen before the auction takes place. This is a big change on the technological side of things, but app marketers won’t experience much disruption with their ad buying.”

Remerge is working closely with Google to build products on the Protected Audiences API. We’re in direct contact with Google’s leadership team and have our own R&D team which has been working on Android Sandbox developments for over a year.”

Pan Katsukis also touched on how Apple may be considering a more active involvement in the mobile privacy space in 2024. Advertising revenue has shifted to Android, which has strengthened and diversified the mobile advertising ecosystem. Combined with Google's collaborative approach to creating a privacy-first advertising future, Apple could be looking towards building a working ecosystem without compromising its in-app advertising business.

Advertisers adapt marketing strategies on iOS and Android after IDFA deprecation

During the event Charlie (Youcheol) Moon, Korea Country Manager, Appsflyer, a Mobile Measurement Platform, and Gyuheon Joe, Team Lead, Team Mint, an advertising agency, shared their insights regarding the privacy developments on Android and iOS.

"Remerge and AppsFlyer are testing the Privacy Sandbox with traffic from real Android users. It has already been confirmed that it works technically and AppsFlyer is accepting beta applications. What makes this time different from iOS14+ is that the ecosystem will participate in the development process. Companies such as AppsFlyer and Remerge test with real user traffic and provide feedback, and Google is paying attention to it. Customers of AppsFlyer and Remerge can rest easy. We will be well prepared for the Privacy Sandbox."

“The deprecation of the IDFA forced us to acknowledge an unexpected phenomena. For instance, there are thresholds that vary by media, making analysis impossible if a specific number of installs do not occur in a day at the campaign level. Additionally, unexpected duplicate attribution occurred when both client and publisher apps consented to ATT. This led to overlapping attribution between SKAN and the conventional MMP (Mobile Measurement Partner) method. Consequently, a number of UA marketers decided to refrain from advertising on iOS, reallocating budgets to Android OS (AOS). This shift resulted in significantly lower CPM (Cost Per Mille) rates on iOS from 2021 to the present.”

Mobile advertisers turn to marketing mix modeling

Speaking as part of a panel discussion, Woochang Lee, Deputy Department Manager, NEXON and Yeseul Yi, Marketing Cell Owner (CO), Coinone, provided their take on the questions mobile marketers should be asking themselves in 2024 and beyond.

Both companies highlighted the importance of using 1st party data collection and contextual targeting to combat the loss of IDs on iOS and Android. They also stressed the value of Marketing Mix Modelling in planning, measuring and optimizing campaigns.

Marketing mix modeling involves analyzing multiple business areas, such as sales data, customer data and media spend, to evaluate the performance of advertising campaigns and identify which internal and external factors are responsible for meeting goals. For instance, are in-app ads affecting revenue numbers? Companies like NEXON and Coinone are employing this method to measure marketing activities across various channels, not only mobile. For example, is there a correlation between Youtube content trends and user acquisition activities? The answers allow them to adjust marketing budgets to spend on the channels that perform well.

Access Remerge’s programmatic advertising resources

Be the first to learn more App Talk events by signing up to Mobile Methods. And visit Remerge’s complete guide to in-app retargeting and its newly launched Mobile Privacy Newsroom to learn about campaign strategies, Google’s Privacy Sandbox, and Apple’s ATT framework.

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