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How Does ATT Change the Rules for MMPs?

Team InMobi
3 min read
Posted on May 17, 2021

Now that iOS 14.5 is live, many iOS users are opting out of IDFA (Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers). This makes advertisers depend on SKAdNetwork (SKAN), Apple’s own solution for tracking app installs in a privacy-compliant manner. Since the announcement about these changes first came out last year, there has been quite a lot of talk around alternative solutions to SKAdNetwork, with some mobile measurement partners (MMPs) showing support by complying with SKAN-based solutions, while others were digging deeper into how they could add value on top of what SKAN provides. 

In this blog, we’ll deep dive into two important aspects where MMPs play a major role and how it will change in the post iOS 14.5 world.  

What Alternatives Were MMPs Working On? 

Let’s start with understanding some of the basics of attribution: deterministic and probabilistic.  

Earlier, MMPs used deterministic attribution that allowed for the exact matching of an app install to an advertising campaign at the user level in the presence of a device identifier like an IDFA. When an app install is deterministically attributed to a campaign, there’s an assumed 100% probability that the install event came from a specific campaign. 

In the absence of an IDFA, MMPs will largely rely on probabilistic attribution for assigning campaigns to users or behavior-based attributes. This is not a 100% accurate way of determining whether a specific campaign drove an install, as there could be a probability of the install being driven from one on more campaigns.  

What Role Will MMPs Play in Tracking Users Now?  

As per the ATT guidelines, MMPs will no longer be able to support probabilistic attribution on Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) and opted-out traffic from iOS 14.5 onwards. This means that advertisers will have no option but to rely on SKAN to attribute installs on campaigns targeting Apple mobile device owners using iOS 14.5 and above. 

This means app install ad campaign data will come only from SKAdNetwork without revealing user-level details. However, advertiser will still be able to receive the following data: 

  • Anonymous data: Publisher id(source), campaign ID, conversion value 
  • Campaigns: Click, impressions etc.  
  • Deterministic attribution from MMPs: for opt-in iOS 14.5 users using IDFA  
  • App data: Login, event interaction  
  • Install data 

Just about each MMP has already partnered with SKAdNetwork to have the advertiser control the data flow to the MMP via an SDK. Every MMP has created a new user interface to enable attribution in a post iOS 14.5 world.  

Many MMPs are offering data enrichment that will provide attribution at some level. For now, we have campaign-level details being attributed for most of the MMPs, and we might have some more coming.  

Conversion values for post-install data are another area where MMPs can assist advertisers, especially around setting up the SKAdnetwork framework for attribution.  

SKAdNetwork has its own limitations around data flow, data enrichment and post-install data, which we’ll dig into in further blog posts. InMobi DSP has been preparing for these attribution changes by working closely with our MMP partners. Feel free to reach out to us for more details. 

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