Brian Bowman, CEO of ConsumerAcquisition.com, has completed an assessment on several quarter three (Q3) earnings report calls and what they indicate regarding the impact of Apple’s IDFA removal on businesses.
Apple’s new rules relate to the tracking systems known as Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Each iPhone comes with an individual IDFA, which behaves similarly to a browser cookie does for computers, letting third parties identify the user. The identifier for advertisers or IDFA is the only means for advertisers to precisely target and track users within apps on iOS devices.
Think of an IDFA as something like a cookie that is tied to devices instead of browsers, in that it enables an advertiser to get notified when a user of a phone has taken an action like clicking on their ad in a browser and then installing, using, or interacting with ads in their app.
Apple says it “does not access or use the IDFA on a user’s device for any purpose.” The company says its aim is to protect the privacy of its users and that iOS 14 gives users greater control over whether apps could link with third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising.With the change, iPhone users will see a pop-up window in each app. The pop-up warns users that an app is tracking their data for advertising purposes, and gives them the option to block the app from doing so.
Recently, Bowman published an in-depth post with key takeaways as well as the full Q3 earnings call transcripts from companies that providesyou with a clearer picture of the IDFA impact across the industry, including Facebook, Match, Peleton, Playtika, Ironsource, Unity, Zynga and more.
Depending on audience and monetization, Bowman found that the impact of Apple’s IDFA removal has helped or hurt businesses differently. For ecommerce apps, FinTech, DTC, subscription services, dating apps and mobile games, IDFA loss has impacted targeting and measurement, making user acquisition less effective and less profitable on iOS.
Bowman expects a bumpy quarter four for all mobile app advertisers with ad spend that’s less efficient. Recovery from mobile ad ecosystem changes will be what many companies called “a multi-year effort.” However, while challenges persist, Bowman says he’s “also excited” to see how companies are improving and innovating in real-time to address those challenges.