UA Marketers Adapt to Apple’s Privacy Changes – Survey Results

Aug 30, 2022
By: Jean Ortiz-Luis

Up until two years ago, the mobile app industry seemed to have a good grasp on how to grow mobile games. That is until Apple’s update around the IDFA and the introduction of SKAdNetwork presented major challenges for developers and marketers and started a new era in the mobile marketing world. User acquisition is always evolving, but the industry is still learning about the effects of iOS 14.5 and its changes. What better way to understand the state of app install marketing than by hearing from mobile publishers and marketers themselves?

The App Install Marketing Survey (previously from AdColony) was distributed globally in Q2 2022 and garnered responses from 140+ mobile publishers and UA marketers. The survey asked respondents 28 questions regarding their strategies and results for user acquisition. Topics include SKAdNetwork, budget allocation, most effective methods, and UA campaign plans for 2022. Below are some of the highlights from the survey and be sure to check out the entire virtual report!

The adoption of SKAdNetwork proves that iOS continues to be crucial for UA. – Most publishers (61%) said they have already adopted SKAdNetwork. That’s 25% more than those surveyed last year. Despite this increase in adoption, there are still some hold outs. 12% of respondents said they have no plans to use SKAdNetwork. Furthermore, just over half of publishers said they still plan to work with ad networks or UA methods on iOS  even if they do not support SKAdNetwork. While most publishers see the importance of using SKAdNetwork, it is not the be-all and end-all user acquisition strategy but rather a supplemental method.

Concern surrounding opt-in rates is still significant but has lessened. – Since last year’s survey, Most respondents (60%) have shifted from being very concerned to being moderately concerned or neutral. Prior to iOS 14.5, predictions had opt-in rates as low as single digits but that has mostly not been the case. Marketers have adapted by using SKAdNetwork and other channels so that they don’t have to rely on opt-ins.

UA marketers have shifted budgets to Apple Search Ads. – 38% of UA marketers said they increased spend on Apple Search Ads after the launch of SKAdNetwork. Apple Search Ads was already growing in popularity and is now seen as a safe bet by publishers since it’s a required stop before every app install. 

Video and display ads are still the top UA channels according to marketers. – Publishers rank video, display, and search ads the highest for budget allocation and effectiveness. For the first time, more respondents considered Apple Search Ads to be more effective than other search ads including Google and Bing. Additionally, 64% of respondents said that rewarded video ads are effective.

Quality takes over price as the top UA KPI. – For the past few years, price has been the most important factor in terms of evaluating ad network and UA campaign performance. This year, more publishers regard the quality of acquired users as most important.

About the Survey

Digital Turbine conducted its annual App Install Marketing Survey (previously from AdColony) in Q2 2022. The survey garnered responses from 140+ global mobile publishers and UA marketers. The survey asked respondents 28 questions regarding their strategies and results for user acquisition.

By Jean Ortiz-Luis
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