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iOS 14 — App Install Advertiser Update

Posted Jul 29, 2020

The growth curve of mobile games is perhaps the steepest it’s been since AdColony started life as mobile game developers ourselves in 2008. During a huge growth year for mobile games and gaming in general, Apple announced in June changes to its identifier for advertisers (IDFA) that impact targeting, attribution, and beyond for app install advertisers. We’ve received many questions from our clients and partners about what these changes mean for them. We have some answers. 

What does AdColony think about Apple’s changes in iOS 14?
AdColony is committed to ensuring business continuity entirely within Apple’s guidelines for our publishers and advertisers when iOS 14 releases to the public this Fall, including all of our DSP and SSP partners. 

We’re in constant communication with all of our partners to ensure that no matter the nature of our partnership, business will continue uninterrupted when iOS 14 launches later this year. 

What are the impacts of iOS 14?
By far the most significant impact of iOS 14’s changes for the mobile app and mobile advertising industries are the changes to privacy. The biggest user-facing change as part of Apple’s new approach to privacy is that users will be prompted with a simple pop-up asking them to opt-in on an app-by-app basis. 

For more information on exactly how this change works, we suggest our full explanation elsewhere on our blog.

How this will impact our operations with AdColony and what critical changes does it involve?
Business continuity is our number one concern. Any requirements for developers will be communicated both on the AdColony portal and via our support portal and Github. Our account teams will also reach out via email, and we’ll share critical updates on our blog and in our newsletters too. If you’re not sure who your AdColony content is, just drop us a line at support@adcolony.com

Advertisers will receive direct communications from their account managers should any action be required, but our performance optimization team is preparing for all eventualities to ensure campaign success.  

How will install attribution work on iOS 14?
If a user on iOS 14 opts in to sharing their IDFA then existing attribution methods will be used. If the user does not opt-in, AdColony will use SKAdNetwork for attribution. 

If you work with us as one of our app install/performance DSP partners then AdColony will use your DSPs Ad network ID and SKAdNetwork attribution signature and AdColony will fire the attribution signature on behalf of the DSP. 

AdColony does not support alternate attribution solutions such as fingerprinting or alternative ID.

AdColony is committed to taking a flexible approach that ensures business continuity when iOS 14 releases. From an attribution perspective, we will support SKAdNetwork integrations with AdColony’s ad network ID or the DSPs ad network ID. That said, it is ultimately up to the publisher to determine whether or not they add your ad network ID to their info.plist.

What about targeting? 
Like most in the industry, we expect the number of specifically addressable devices will decrease when iOS 14 launches. It is unknown what percentage of Apple users will choose to opt-in to sharing their data via this process, and estimates have ranged widely depending on who you ask. 

One of the primary alternatives to device-level targeting that has been discussed in the industry has been that of contextual targeting. As one of the first mobile ad networks for mobile apps, AdColony has almost a decade of experience using the power of contextual audiences for advertisers of all types, in both direct and programmatic supply. With our granular bidding, app metadata and contextual data partnerships, and proprietary bidding algorithms engineered to optimize against contextual signals, we are confident our experience in this area will give our advertisers an advantage as the industry makes the shift.

As part of our commitment to uninterrupted advertising success for our partners, AdColony will be launching brand new tools in the coming weeks to facilitate app-level contextual targeting and campaign optimization for advertisers. If you are an advertiser and would like to learn more and potentially join our closed beta, please email advertiserproducts@adcolony.com. 

Will the iOS 14 Changes require an SDK update? Do you expect any API changes?
Yes. Apps and app updates submitted after Apple’s iOS 14 “deadline” (typically 2 weeks prior to launch) will need to use the correct frameworks and API calls. We recommend developers update all of their apps for iOS 14 compatibility as soon as possible, but hold on submission until Apple officially opens up the call for iOS 14 apps. 

An important note: Since iOS 14 requires an API call to ask for permission for the IDFA, all older apps on a user’s device (which wouldn’t make the API call until updated) will stop getting the IDFA as soon a user upgrades to iOS 14. We strongly recommend having an iOS 14 compatible version of all of your apps ready prior to the public launch of iOS 14. 

When do you expect to have an iOS 14 compatible SDK for us to update?
We are committed to providing iOS 14 compatible SDK as soon as possible and aim to have it ready by August 30th — well before we predict iOS 14 launches to the public. If you’re a developer who would like to have a conversation about integrating our current beta SDK for testing, feel free to drop us a line at iOS14@adcolony.com.

What is Apple SKAdNetwork?
SKAdNetwork is Apple’s replacement for the third-party measurement and attribution space for app install campaigns. SKAdNetwork is designed to allow ad networks (like AdColony) to directly attribute installs (and some other data) without using a third-party attribution vendor. 

Does AdColony plan on supporting SKAdNetwork?
AdColony is one hundred percent committed to supporting SKAdNetwork and we’re already registered with Apple. 

Who should I be working with to enable SKAdnetwork for my advertisements?
We’re working with our full ecosystem of partners to define exact support and workflows and are committed to offering a flexible solution. We are committed to implementing a SKAdNetork solution using the AdColony Ad Network ID and encourage our partners to contact us to collaborate on alternative solutions.

What about Android devices?
Consumers with Android devices remain addressable directly via their AAID (Android Advertising Identifier) and make up a little less than half of the mobile phone market share in the United States, and almost 75% worldwide.

Do you support fingerprinting attribution?
AdColony is not a mobile measurement partner or attribution provider.

Can I use other data signals for targeting and attribution if a user does not opt-in?
AdColony is unable to provide recommendations around this. 

Can you pass more contextual signals to us via the bid request?
We are happy to collaborate with our partners on adding additional data points to the bid request.

Will AdColony continue to support MMPs?
We intend to adopt a flexible approach based on data availability and the preferences of our partners and plan on continuing to work with our existing and any new mobile measurement platform (MMP) partners. The change to SKAdNetwork has significant impacts on the way MMPs tally and collate data, but we welcome any conversations on how we can move forward and continue working with some of our oldest and most valued partners. 

Will AdColony continue to work with DSPs?
Our supply will continue to be open for business from other vetted programmatic sources. AdColony has become known as the mobile monetization platform with the widest range of ads for developers, including industry-leading brand demand for in-app environments, and one of the most trusted and brand-safe sources of supply for our advertising partners. We intend on maintaining this for the foreseeable future. 

I am a performance DSP but I don’t have a direct relationship with publishers. Can AdColony help us get our ad network ID integrated into publishers’ info.plist?
From an attribution perspective we will support SKAdNetwork integrations with AdColony’s ad network ID or the DSPs ad network ID. That said, it is currently ultimately up to the publisher to determine whether or not they add the ad network ID to their info.plist.

Since we plan on full support for SKAdNetwork, we’re able to utilize either AdColony’s ad network ID or a DSP ad network ID and are happy to collaborate on integrating the best solution for your needs. If you are a DSP looking to partner or continue to work with AdColony, please reach out and contact us. 

I don’t have an Ad Network ID in this publisher’s app. Can I use AdColony’s Ad Network ID instead?
Since we plan on full support for SKAdNetwork, we’re able to utilize either AdColony’s ad network ID or a DSP ad network ID and are happy to collaborate on integrating the best solution for your needs. 

How will this impact our operations and what critical changes it involves and does AdColony have any specific thoughts regarding consent flow like GDPR, CCPA?
AdColony requires that clients and partners follow all applicable laws. It is the publisher’s responsibility to obtain and pass consent to AdColony. AdColony is unable to offer legal advice to our clients and partners and encourage publishers to seek a professional legal opinion on GDPR, CCPA, etc. 

AdColony’s SDK contains a fully functional consent API with support for GDPR, CCPA, and other consent flags from developers who choose to take advantage of it. We also extend opt-out, do not track, do not process, and data requests from end-users regardless of where in the world they live via our privacy policy. More information on our consumer-friendly approach to privacy can be found on our Consumer Privacy page

Join the Conversation
Got more questions about iOS 14? Tweet us at @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

Jonathan

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