Apple’s controversial privacy changes in iOS, which brought along the App Tracking Transparency framework that was met with a global backlash in the industry, doesn’t seem to have affected mobile game downloads and monetization revenue as much as anticipated.
First introduced at last year’s WWDC event and came into effect in April with the launch of iOS 14.5, Apple’s ATT now asks iPhone users who have upgraded their devices to the latest operating system if they want to allow apps to track their data for various purposes including advertising.
Many people in the industry were expecting the deprecation of IDFA to bring serious results as they are no longer able to track iOS user data without getting permission. However, latest estimates from Apptopia suggest that Apple ATT currently has no clear effect on iOS game downloads and revenue.
According to Branch, iOS 14.5+ adoption reached 75% on June 27th, which means that the majority of iPhone users have already upgraded their devices to Apple’s latest mobile operating system.
However, weekly downloads of iOS games remained almost unchanged when the adoption surpassed 70%. In fact, some subcategories like Word and Casino even saw a slight increase in downloads at the same time.
Here’s the graph of weekly IOS in-app purchase revenue of mobile game subcategories where, similarly, almost no change took place.
And here is the U.S. chart of the weekly iOS performance of the top 50 rankings apps and top 50 grossing apps.
While the IAP revenue of the top 50 grossing apps remained unchanged, there’s only a small decrease in the downloads of top 50 ranking apps in the United States.
According to Apptopia, this could be simply because more users are allowing ad tracking than expected.
However, there are some scenarios that might have prevented the fall in iOS game downloads and revenue. One of them is fingerprinting.
Although Apple explicitly doesn’t allow fingerprinting for uniquely identifying the device or the user, it’s a type of ‘’probabilistic attribution’’ solution which helps advertisers to predict whether an ad brings a download.
Also, ad publishers could be spending more money on user acquisition campaigns, which doesn’t seem likely for now, or they could be spending more money on native ads of large ad networks such as Facebook which still offer highly effective ad targeting technologies.
In addition, they also might be spending their budgets on ad solutions provided by large publishers, many of which offer better ad targeting due to the use of IDFV (The Identifier for Vendors).
What do you think?