How SKAdNetwork changed traffic costs on iOS

A brief timeline of eCPMs since the launch of SKAN.

Melisa Rocío Fernández

September 28, 2022

In this article, we answer some of the most asked questions about how traffic costs have changed over the past years, including:  

  • How did Apple’s ATT change eCPMs on iOS?
  • What’s the current state of eCPMs on iOS?
  • What do these changes mean for app marketers?
  • What eCPMs can app marketers expect for the upcoming holiday season?
About the data used in this article: this post is based on Appodeal’s Performance Index 2022 report. Insights refer to Banner ads in the US unless otherwise specified. 

How Apple’s ATT changed eCPMs on iOS traffic

H1 2021: iOS eCPMs started dropping after the launch of iOS 14.5 in April 2021. During this period, a lot of advertisers allocated a significant portion of their campaign budget to Android campaigns while they started to figure out how to drive iOS campaigns in the ATT era. With less competition, by June 2021, traffic costs for Banner ads had fallen by 30.43% year-over-year.

Full-screen ads experienced a similar trend during this period, with eCPMs going from $9.48 in April to $8.70 in June. Rewarded Video, on the other hand, remained a little more stable, only falling by 2% between April and June.

H2 2021: eCPMs gradually rose, peaking during Q4. While this was a sign that more advertisers were starting to test SKAdNetwork, it was also the result of the increasing competition during end-of-year shopping dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas.

H1 2022: January saw 43.33% lower eCPMs than December, following the usual drop after the end of the Holiday Season. This trend is not unique to iOS: Android eCPMs fell by 36% during this period. 

For Banner ads, eCPMs remained fairly steady for the following months, only growing by 5.26% in Q2 2022; for Full-screen ads, traffic costs even grew 14% between March and June 2022—an indicator that app marketers continue to invest in iOS, testing SKAN, adapting to Apple’s updates, and seeing progress. 

Rewarded Video ads, on the other hand, fell from $12.20 at the beginning of Q2 to $10.62 in June. This may be due to the fact that Video ads are more complex to create and iterate upon, or because marketers are reticent to invest in more expensive formats until they have a solid SKAN setup. In the context of ATT, advertisers might prefer to test more cost-efficient formats first, such as banner ads.

What’s the state of eCPMs today? What does this mean for app marketers?

Per the latest Appodeal data, iOS eCPMs for Banner ads were $0.27 in June 2022 (26% lower than in 2021), while Android eCPMs reached $0.54 in the same period. In the upcoming months, however, we could expect traffic costs to rise gradually as we approach Q4, one of the most competitive periods for mobile businesses.

"In 2021, the ad-tech industry was dramatically impacted by iOS 14.5. This ongoing 2022 was no different. eCPMs plummeted in certain regions due to territorial conflicts, unbalancing some critical mobile app metrics that significantly influence overall revenue. For this reason, we release an 'In-App Ad Performance Index' report every year as part of our commitment to stay transparent with the mobile industry." —Marc Llobet, Growth & Product Marketing Manager at Appodeal.

For app marketers who haven’t tested SKAdNetwork, this is a great opportunity to start testing before traffic costs peak. Driving success in the post-IDFA era is challenging, but not impossible, and only those advertisers who work to figure out SKAN will be the ones engaging audiences in the new iOS scenario.

For app marketers running SKAdNetwork, we recommend testing and iterating on creatives to leverage those insights and make the most of the Holiday Season. 

How Jampp can help you drive success on iOS

At Jampp, we developed proprietary technology to unlock new performance metrics that help our customers grow in the post-IDFA era:

  • Jampp was among the first DSPs to be approved on Apple’s SKAdNetwork.
  • Since the industry was initially slow to adopt ATT, we created our own app to test SKAdNetwork.
  • We’ve helped our customers smoothly transition into the SKAN era, seeing an average CPI of at least 37% lower on SKAN campaigns (vs IDFA-only campaigns). You can learn about how we helped Fetch Rewards achieve 41% lower CPI in their SKAN campaigns here.
  • We launched our ATT & SKAN hub, which features a curated list of educational resources for app marketers.

If you’re looking to start testing SKAN, or if you’re already running this framework and want to take your iOS campaigns to the next level, contact us to talk to a mobile marketing expert.