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Preparing for iOS 14: Insights from InMobi Exchange CAB Identity Focus Group

Team InMobi
7 min read
Posted on September 09, 2020

Apple’s recent announcements regarding iOS 14 and its expected impact on the Identifiers for Advertisers (IDFA) have been in the news for the last few weeks. Everyone from advertisers to publishers and the other ecosystem players are discussing its likely impact on in-app advertising and monetization. 

To get a better sense of how the mobile advertising ecosystem will cope with these changes, we convened experts from across the supply chain as part of the latest effort related to our InMobi Exchange Customer Advisory Board (CAB). 

As you might have read in our CAB mid-year update from June this year, we decided to change the format of our in-person, large group CAB meeting to video chats with smaller groups. We also saw this as an opportunity to use these smaller groups for more focused chats on specific themes. One of those themes for us this year was identity.  

The Identity group included representation from publishers (Kwalee and MyRadar), demand-side platforms (Criteo, Amazon, Moloco) and our identity partner LiveRamp. You can check out our full list CAB members on this page

Here are some insights from the meeting that we think will help you understand how the ecosystem is looking to tackle in-app advertising once iOS 14 is live. 

1) User Consent Opt-In 

While there isn’t a clear benchmark on the possible opt-in rates we might see, most publishers expect it to be anywhere around 20-30%, on the conservative end. Given that approximately 30% of all request volumes today have Limit Ad Tracking set, an app-level prompt will provide further incentive for users to proactively disallow tracking. To mitigate risk, most publisher partners agree broadly on setting up meaningful value exchanges and other tactics to nudge users towards granting app tracking permissions.  

Our discussions point to a long-term strategy where publishers will explore revenue diversification, especially if the opt-in rates drop drastically. This includes exploring possible subscription-based revenue models, diversification through new ad formats (like in-game native and in-game audio), offering in-app rewards in exchange for user consent (like the rewarded video mechanics), etc.  

In the short run though, publishers will consider ways to encourage users to provide consent. This includes banners, alerts and notifications to nudge sticky users, along with tactics like building better onboarding experiences for users by providing the multiple consent-based opt-in prompts (like iOS 14, GDPR and CCPA) in a less intrusive way to drive better conversions. 

2) Alternate Identifiers to Enable Targeting and Bidding 

In the absence of IDFA, the jury is still out on a substitute identifier that can take its place. DSPs in our forum expressed interest in using any available identifier that advertisers are open to, is privacy-compliant and is available at scale.  

One of the options is using hashed emails or publisher login data (emails or phone numbers) in a privacy-compliant framework. Solutions like LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) is an attempt of this kind. ATS attempts to use publisher data (but not app data) and make that available to advertisers for their targeting use cases. 

While the buy side is open to using all such identifiers at this point, they want to make sure these identifiers are consent-based and provide the consumers with an easy way to opt out. 

3) Additional Data Signals for Targeting and Bidding 

The ecosystem is also exploring other privacy-first ways in which advertisers can continue to run targeted advertisements against user segments without the need to share any user-level ID or personal data. From many conversations with our buy-side partners, contextual targeting appears to be getting more interest as the best alternative to user level ad personalization.  

DSPs are preparing to ingest contextual signals to tune their algorithms accordingly, although industry-wide adoption may take time. DSPs are looking at three types of contextual signals: 

  1. Device signals, e.g. battery level, battery charging indicator, device hardware version, network speed, etc. 
  2. Content signals, e.g. app category, app page classification, etc. 
  3. User ad interaction metrics, e.g. session depth, video completion rates, click-through rates, etc. 

Most DSPs are building out support for device signals because they are quite standard and simple to consume across supply-side platforms. Content signals are interesting to advertisers, but many on the buy side feel that they need to be standardized before they see mainstream adoption in the ecosystem.  

User ad interaction metrics, which are the third category of signals, are especially interesting to performance-first DSPs that focus on down-funnel metrics like user acquisition. DSP bidders can use these in their predictive models to evaluate their value to specific advertisers and campaigns. In fact, some of these metrics like session depth have been used by some DSPs for some time now. But with the iOS 14-related changes, these signals will become much more important and popular with performance DSPs. 

Of course, until iOS 14 is live, we won’t know what opt-in rates will specifically look like and how the industry will need to adapt. For more on iOS 14 from InMobi, be sure to subscribe to our blog and to check out the latest videos on our YouTube channel

And for more updates on future InMobi Exchange CAB meetings, stay tuned to our blog. If you’re interested in learning more about upcoming CAB events, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us

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