How are app marketers splitting their budget after iOS 14.5?

In this post, we analyze how app marketers have been allocating their mobile marketing budget after the launch of ATT.

Florencia Vago

September 22, 2021

The impact of SKAdNetwork on Android budget, iOS spend, and App Retargeting


Are other advertisers allocating their budget to IDFA-only campaigns? Are they shifting the budget to Android? Are they going full SKAD this quarter to figure it out? 

It may seem like no two advertisers are following the same strategy, but they all want to know what the others are doing.

In this post, we’ll share some insights on the strategy and spending trends we’ve been seeing regarding:

  •  User Acquisition vs App Retargeting
  • Android vs iOS
  • IDFA-only vs SKAD Campaigns


iOS 14.5: User Acquisition vs App Retargeting

When Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework was first announced there were two approaches:

  1. ✋ Hard stop: The general feeling translating to something like COVID + ATT = give me a second to catch my breath.
  2. 🛥️ Full steam ahead: With the underlying thought being: “I will retarget till I absolutely cannot, gain insights, and take advantage of the fact that many of my competitors have stopped retargeting their users”. 

Many months later, we’ve seen App Retargeting ramp up steadily and we expect this trend to continue growing as we get closer to what many verticals see as peak season (a.k.a Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas)

iOS 14.5: Android vs iOS

Several players in the industry reported an initial shift to Android. Back in July of this year, ad-measurement firm Tenjin Inc stated that the spending on iOS mobile advertising had fallen by about one-third between June 1 and July 1, while they saw Android spending grow 10% over the same period [1].

We’ve found that the OS split varies a lot per region (given the market differences in iOS penetration). We’ve seen a lot of advertisers shift to a 65% (Android) - 35% (iOS) budget split (compared to the previous 50%-50% split we used to see before the launch of ATT). Many factors have influenced this shift to Android:

#1 ATT is a new challenge: even though Apple postponed the original ATT release date, iOS 14 significantly disrupted the way marketers targeted users and measured success. This led them to allocate a bigger portion of their budget on Android while they figured out iOS 14.5.

#2 Increase of competition on Android: as marketers started shifting their marketing budgets to Android campaigns, the competition for these ad spaces increased, and so did the eCPMs.

Source: Appodeal Performance Index 2021


This means that advertisers have to spend more to stay competitive and sustain their growth. 

#3 Android offers actionable insights: whereas iOS became uncharted territory, Android remained a familiar face. Some advertisers opted to shift some additional budget where they had full visibility into campaign performance and granular insights.

This doesn’t mean every mobile business out there is following the same budget split rule. In reality, it depends a lot on the company’s goals (which is probably not what you want to read, but there it is). We are seeing some advertisers who have embraced the SKAdNetwork life 100% and others who are sticking to their “I love both my children equally” 50-50 split. There is no right answer. 

The pros of leveraging Android campaigns to inform your iOS strategy? In Android, you can still optimize with behavioral data and some of those learnings can be applied to your iOS campaign.

The pros of investing in (SKAN) iOS? Many advertisers are still not running SKAdNetwork campaigns. As discussed in our latest AGS panel: “in the midst of the chaos and unknowns, a lot of marketers have stopped spending so those who can figure out clever strategies can get outsized returns. While everyone is figuring things out, if you can implement a good-enough, but less-than-perfect strategy, there are definitely good opportunities.” App marketers who can invest, learn quickly, and achieve success in SKAD campaigns stand to win big. This leads us to our last point… are advertisers investing in iOS focusing on IDFA-only or on SKAD Campaigns?


iOS 14.5: IDFA-only vs SKAD Campaigns

Reach for the SKAD 🌟

IDFA availability has been steadily decreasing since the beginning of this year. In April 2021, the availability of IDFA traffic stood at around 70%, now it’s around 38%. Inversely, ATT adoption has grown from under 10% in April to 80% today [2].  

This means that as SKAD adoption increases and IDFA availability decreases, advertisers running IDFA-traffic only face limited reach and higher CPAs. 

💡Keep in mind that when running SKAD campaigns, you also get to bid for users with IDFA—in short, the best of both worlds. At Jampp, customers running both SKAD and IDFA-only campaigns are seeing at least 37% lower CPIs on the SKAD side.

Looking for more SKAdNetwork resources?

You might also like some of these articles addressing frequent SKAdNetwork questions:

Feel free to visit our ATT hub or get in touch to chat with our SKAd Squad ;)

References

[1] Mac Rumors, 2021.

[2] Based on internal data from the leading mobile marketing ad exchanges.