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Mobile ads after ATT: Insights from Remerge, InMobi and Smaato

The global adoption rate for iOS 14.5+ is on the up, opt-in rates are increasing, and the mobile marketing industry is experiencing a bigger shift towards SKAdNetwork traffic.

Our first ID or No ID report provided a regional perspective from our experts on the state of the programmatic advertising industry following the arrival of ATT. For our second edition, Remerge CEO Pan Katsukis shares his thoughts on the latest market developments, while our supply partners InMobi and Smaato offer an insight into the trends they have observed and what app marketers should consider when running programmatic advertising campaigns right now.

Download the new edition of the ID or no ID? report for the full analysis from Pan Katsukis, Sergio Serra, and Umair Malik.

Now is not the time to stop spending on iOS

Pan Katsukis, CEO, Remerge

The ATT rollout has been the biggest challenge for app marketers this year. It has caused so much disruption; companies had to rethink their entire flow and infrastructure when asking themselves, “how do I run campaigns on iOS in the current climate?”

We remain in the midst of these privacy changes and are learning what it means for the market. From our post-IDFA dashboard data, we can see that as of September 2021, the global adoption rate for iOS 14.5+ is almost at 80%. The volume of available ID traffic saw a dip at the beginning of June, but since then bid requests for iOS have remained relatively stable, which is very good news for marketers. One reason for this is the optimized supply partner configuration we have implemented.

Even with ATT, we have yet to witness a negative impact on the performance of our retargeting campaigns. While many thought Apple’s privacy measures would be the death of retargeting, we actually saw the opposite at Remerge and smashed company records for revenue in May, June, July, and August. ID traffic has decreased by approximately 30% since April, but for now, the portion of identifiable users on the programmatic market is still enough to run effective retargeting campaigns.

Meanwhile, the volume and price of no-ID traffic continue to play into the hands of marketers who are willing to act quickly. The price for no-ID inventory on iOS is almost 60% cheaper than ID inventory.

« It is essential for publishers to maximize the value of their inventory in a way that enables meaningful targeting for marketers »

Sergio Serra, Head of Product Management, InMobi

Build trust with users and educate them on the benefits of IDFA

Sergio Serra, Head of Product Management, InMobi

Four months in, the state of mobile advertising is much clearer. Marketing budgets have shifted to Android inventory, whilst iOS eCPMs have decreased. Publishers have adopted yield strategies to maximize their non-LAT (non-limit ad tracking) and LAT audiences. The identity ecosystem is getting more crowded but publishers are finding it challenging to choose and implement solutions, especially small and medium-sized app publishers. There is still some education that needs to be made around the benefits of alternative identifiers.

Opt-in rates are increasing among users. For instance, Brazil had an average opt-in rate of 3% which increased to 41% in August. Global opt-in rates increased from 18% in May to up to 37% in August. So, we see an increase in opt-in rates across nations, which means that publishers are able to win the trust of the users and are convincing them to sign up for IDFA tracking. Opt-in rates overall have increased significantly since May 2021.

What will things look like at the beginning of 2022? For one, while iOS eCPMs have decreased and Android eCPMs have increased in the months following the release of iOS 14.5+, I expect eCPMs to level out and reach similar pre-iOS 14.5 numbers by early next year, as advertisers and DSPs become more comfortable with the restrictions. In addition, I expect more UA budgets to shift back to iOS, as use of and familiarity with SKAdNetwork rises.

With IDFA going away, it is essential for publishers to maximize the value of their inventory in a way that enables meaningful targeting for marketers, that doesn’t rely on users’ personal data. Context is not just about categories and keywords. In-app publishers have an opportunity to leverage the power of their non-PII data signals, such as session insights, which are important for marketers to reach engaged audiences.

« Any change is good as this creates opportunities for improvements »

Umair Malik, Head of Programmatic Strategy, Smaato

Contextual in-app targeting is vital when there is no IDFA

Umair Malik, Head of Programmatic Strategy, Smaato

After the launch of iOS 14.5, we worked with our publishers and buyers on the adoption of SKAdNetwork. One key observation we noticed was that publishers and buyers were not too optimistic about the results they may experience with this change. However, this perspective is changing with time as publishers and buyers are now seeing good performance with SKAdNetwork-supported traffic. However, some fine-tuning will be needed to continue to see more effectiveness of SKAdNetwork traffic.

On our platform, we started seeing a bigger shift towards SKAdNetwork traffic in July as overall iOS spend remained at the same levels. Currently, we are seeing a steady trend that our SKAdNetwork traffic is above 70% and expecting to reach over 85% in the coming months.

We strongly believe that any change is good as this creates opportunities for improvements. With privacy top of mind, this change will help to grow contextual ad spend with machine learning at a very fast pace. Our recommendation to marketers and publishers would be to continue to improve on contextual signals and fine-tuning SKAdNetwork traffic. We are seeing early results which are very promising.

More insights and advice from Remerge, InMobi, and Smaato

Access all of the insights from Pan Katsukis, Sergio Serra, and Umair Malik in our second ID or no ID report.