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Mobile App User Behavior & Privacy Research 2021 – USA Highlights

Posted May 19, 2021

Since Apple first announced AppTrackingTransparency, there has been constant speculation about how many people will opt-in to being tracked. iOS 14.5 finally dropped last month and since then, there have been varying reports of opt-in rates. While some of these reports may have shaken up industry optimists, it’s still too early to tell the whole story. 

While people continue to update their iOS systems and respond to the framework, there are some questions left unanswered. AdColony conducted its Mobile App User Behavior & Privacy Research Survey to help get some clarity. App users in the U.S. were asked how willing they are to share their device data, if they were aware that it is only used for relevant ads, and how important it is to see relevant ads. Read on for highlights from the survey and scroll down to see the infographic!

Survey Highlights

  • Free apps are most preferred among American consumers. — 65% of respondents prefer free apps with ads over an in-app purchase with no ads. This is not much of a surprise as previous research shows that this is the case. Although spending in mobile apps has gone up in the past year, consumers would still rather not pay for them if given the choice.
  • Most consumers want to see shopping and entertainment ads in apps. — While most consumers would rather see ads to keep apps free, they do have preferences on what kind of ads they want to see. Shopping (58%) and entertainment (55%) came out on top. Gaming apps had a decent share at 30% while other non-gaming apps came in last at 17%.   Additionally, 36% say it’s important to see ads that are relevant to them
  • Almost half of consumers in the U.S. are willing to share their device data with apps for relevant ads. — 46% of respondents said they were willing to share device data if it meant they could see ads that would interest them. This figure is much higher than some of the reported ATT opt-in rates. As more people update their iOS devices, we could see those rates increase and align with the 46% figure.
  • Consumers may know more than you think when it comes to device data. — The misconception is that consumers will balk at the sight of an app asking to track them because they do not want sensitive data compromised. However, survey results revealed that 73% of users are aware that the device data will be only used to optimize users’ in-app ad experience. It’s also important that they know how device data is being used within apps. A vast majority of respondents (82%) said they would want those details.
  • Millennials and Xennials are most likely to be willing to share device data. — The age group that had the highest share of those willing to share device data were the 30 to 44-year-olds with more than half of them saying yes (57%). Half of the 45-60 age group also said they were willing to share their data. Those age groups are followed by 18-29 (38%) and the over 60’s (27%).

Don’t forget to click the infographic to see it full screen and download!

About the Study
This survey was distributed globally and received approximately 250 responses from respondents in the United States. It asked consumers ranging from 18 years old to over 60 about their knowledge and preferences regarding device data and mobile privacy.

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