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iOS 14.5, one year later: What’s changed, what hasn’t

June 1, 2022
Retargeting
Margot Miller
Brand Content Manager
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One year ago, Apple turned the mobile marketing industry upside down with the introduction of its ATT privacy framework. Predictions for the future of retargeting were grim, but the doom and gloom forecasts don’t seem to have materialized. Our latest report on the impact of iOS 14.5 has all the details of the state of retargeting on iOS one year after iOS 14.5, and recommendations for app marketers for 2022.

What we’re seeing on iOS now

Now that iOS 14.5 has reached nearly 90% adoption, we can finally draw some more concrete conclusions about what the landscape looks like for app marketers.

Graph: 67% of events were generated by users who are running iOS 14.5 and above.

We’ve observed that the percentage of events on iOS 14.5 and above is actually greater than the percentage of device IDs. As the proportion of device IDs is lower than that of events, we can conclude that users running iOS 14.5 and above are on average more active than users still running older versions of iOS.

Bar chart: Available IDFAs are around 38% in February 2022

Initially, available IDFAs dropped from 70% in April 2021 to 40% by September 2021. Since then, they’ve stayed relatively consistent at 40% up through February 2022.

Publishers may be missing out on iOS revenue

One of the main questions when Apple announced the ATT framework was how app marketers would track revenue coming from iOS. While it’s true that there is a smaller number of available IDFAs, retargeting those users who opt in to share their IDFA is still 100% deterministic. Their device IDs are still available for retargeting, and there’s no need to rely on the SKADnetwork to target them. This means that there’s still room to spend and take advantage of revenue opportunities iOS.

In our studies with clients not running retargeting on iOS, we’ve found that they’re missing out on a ton of potential revenue. As we mentioned before, retargeting on iOS is still deterministic and users who share their IDFAs can be retargeted exactly as they were before. By stopping iOS campaigns, app marketers are losing opportunities to retargeting high LTV users who have opted in to share their IDFAs.

Pie chart: 53.7% of revenue is generated by opted-in device IDs; 43% generated by unavailable device IDs

The above chart is the amount of in-app revenue still generated by both users who have opted in and users who have opted out of sharing their device IDs. It’s clear that over half of in-app revenue is still being generated by users who have opted in to share their device IDs. By choosing not to increase budget for iOS campaigns, app marketers may be losing out on opportunities to retarget these payers and take advantage of their LTV.

When advising clients on how best to allocate their retargeting budget, we’ve found that results have been pretty positive on iOS, even for app marketers who are remaining conservative with their spend. For example, gaming app Clawee saw positive iROAS on iOS, even with lower scale. 

Strategic recommendations

In our view, predictions for the future of retargeting on iOS were a bit off the mark. While it’s true that IDFA availability has decreased, it wasn’t as drastic as expected. Around 40% of IDFAs are still available, while the iOS budget for retargeting is still quite low compared to Android on average. For these users who opt-in on iOS, performance is still 100% deterministic. Their device IDs are still available for retargeting, and there’s no need to rely on the SKADnetwork to target them. This means that there’s still room to spend and take advantage of revenue opportunities iOS.

Google Play app revenue reached $47.9 bn in Q4 2021; iOS app revenue reached $85.1 bn in Q4 2021

As shown in the graphs above, even with a decrease in IDFA availability, users on iOS tend to spend more than users on Android. One year of the ATT framework hasn’t made much of a dent in the amount of app revenue generated by users on iOS. App revenue generated on iOS reached 85.1 billion USD in 2021 as compared to Android’s 47.9 billion. When looking at it from this angle, it’s not just that there are enough IDFAs available to support retargeting; there are also plenty of revenue opportunities on iOS in spite of the ATT framework. 

We recommend that app marketers conduct a thorough audit of their app to find the best retargeting strategy for audiences on both iOS and Android. By reducing spend on iOS, app marketers may be missing out on chances to retarget high value users, therefore losing them to churn or not allowing them to reach their full LTV potential. Get in touch to learn more about our custom retargeting strategies, and our complimentary pre-launch analysis.

Margot Miller
Brand Content Manager
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