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Android ad spend surges up to 21% following Apple’s IDFA changes, shows new analysis from Liftoff and the Post-IDFA Alliance

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Liftoff, a global performance-based mobile app marketing optimization platform, and its fellow Post-IDFA Alliance members have released initial findings on the iOS 14.5 operating system update, revealing several surprising and positive trends for the mobile marketing industry. The data shows a high opt-in rate by consumers and a massive shift in ad spend to Android, among other key discoveries.

The results are the first in a series of analyses from the alliance — a coalition of marketing leaders that includes AdColony, Fyber, Chartboost, InMobi, Vungle and Singular — detailing the impact of iOS 14.5 on the advertising industry. The report examines adoption, opt-in rates, advertising costs, and spend across platforms. Drawing on performance data in the 14 days following the iOS update spanning demand-side, supply-side, and mobile measurement sectors, the analysis found the following:

Ad spend booms as marketers flock to Android

As the industry grapples with the launch of iOS 14.5, it seems that marketers are meeting uncertainty with more ad spend, rather than less. This is especially true on Android: all alliance members saw a major increase in spend on the platform following the update, ranging from 8.29% (Liftoff) to an upper bound increase of a whopping 21% (Vungle).

While many marketers decreased spend on iOS in the wake of 14.5, the change seems to be relatively minor, ranging from only 2.51% (AdColony) to 3.59% (Singular). Vungle, meanwhile, reported a modest iOS ad spend increase of 3.32%.

The new landscape is driving marketers to experiment with spend, and the data proves it. When looking at these shifts from iOS to Android in the aggregate, the net result could be an increase in overall ad spend across the industry.

In the two weeks following its release, adoption rates of iOS 14.5 ranged from 11.5% to 14.92%, depending on the method used to identify a 14.5 user. It’s still early days, but this is a low adoption rate so far, relative to past iOS updates — as the market grows, the industry will have greater insight into the true impact of the update.

Opt-in rates as high as 36.5%

iOS 14.5’s new privacy features spurred a great deal of discussion in the mobile marketing industry, with uncertainty as to the impact on advertising spending and efficacy. Most significant to those disquieted, and the clearest indicator of market disruption, is the percentage of users opting-in to sharing their iPhone device ID via the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt. Depending on the data source, these opt-in rates could be highly encouraging signs for the industry.

According to AdColony, in the two weeks following 14.5’s release, 36.5% of users opted-in to sharing their device ID when prompted. The range of reported opt-in rates is vast, with Singular reporting only 16.8% of users permitted apps to track data fully. Additionally, 18.9% of its users restricted the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” entirely, while 64.28% denied sharing their device ID.

While additional data is needed to determine whether the opt-in rates more closely align with AdColony’s 36.5% or Singular’s 16.8% findings, neither figure represents the worst-case scenario for an industry that has been bracing for turmoil.

CPMs on iOS drop — for now

Impression costs on iOS 14.5 are down, with the cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) showing a decline, ranging from 2.4% (Liftoff) to 8.73% (AdColony). Industry leaders expected an initial decline, and they also expect it to be temporary. Alliance partners predict that CPMs will steadily increase over time as more users adopt iOS 14.5 and marketers feel more confident with ad performance.

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