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Preparing for iOS 10: Ad Tracking Updates & ATS Compliance

Posted Sep 13, 2016

With Apple’s iOS 10 gold master now available, there are two key changes that mobile publishers and advertisers should take particular note of: limit ad tracking and ATS compliance. Mobile advertisers will need to sync with their advertising & attribution partners to verify that their tracking solution is prepared, and mobile publishers will need to ensure that both they and their partners are ATS compliant.

New Ad Tracking Limitations
Currently, when Limit Ad Tracking is enabled on a device, only minimal aggregate data is passed to advertisers to facilitate frequency capping, campaign attribution, and campaign conversion. However, as Apple recently announced, this is about to change with iOS 10. In short, instead of providing limited information through IDFAs (identifier for advertisers), the IDFA will be zeroed out entirely. If an advertiser or attribution partner is relying solely on IDFA information to manage campaign targeting, frequency, or attribution, they may see that a small segment of their users are untrackable. Currently, approximately 10% of iOS users have Limit Ad Tracking enabled.

Maintaining a Positive User Ad Experience
To ensure users with Limit Ad Tracking enabled have a positive user experience, several considerations must be made. For example, without proper tracking, the unavailability of frequency capping could result in users seeing a given ad creative too often. Likewise, without proper attribution & targeting, users may see ads that are not relevant to them.

To ensure that all users enjoy a positive user experience regardless of their iOS ad tracking settings, supplemental solutions will be required moving forward. To this end, AdColony is actively developing a device fingerprint solution for internal purposes (frequency capping, fraud detection, etc) and coordinating with top tracking partners to ensure continuity for users that have LAT enabled. We’re also collaborating with publishers and fellow ad partners to share best practices.

As the mobile industry moves into its biggest quarter of the year, our goal is to minimize any impact to publishers’ revenue potential and the app install business.

ATS Compliance
While the changes to Limit Ad Tracking are an immediate concern for advertisers, mobile publishers must also prepare in Q4 for new App Transport Security (ATS) compliance requirements from Apple. Simply, as of January 1st, 2017, Apple will require all apps and app updates submitted to the App Store to be ATS complaint. To be ATS compliant, all app to server connections must be encrypted. Additional information regarding Apple’s requirements is available on their security page for developers.

While AdColony’s Aurora SDK launching this fall will be fully ATS compliant, publishers are encouraged to verify the ATS compliance of all SDKs within their app, from advertising & mediation to other tools & services.

Additional Information
Advertisers with questions regarding the impact of Limit Ad Tracking on their campaigns are encouraged to reach out to their AdColony account manager (or [email protected]) and attribution partner representative. Publishers with questions regarding ATS compliance are encouraged to reach out to their AdColony account manager (or [email protected]) and their mediation partners.


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