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Apple’s privacy changes and resulting acquisition activity have led to consolidation in the mobile advertising technology market, according to a report by measurement firm Singular.
SingularThe 2022 ROI Index has 29% fewer ad networks compared to 2021. The report sifts through data to find the best ad networks in the world.
And the result of the mergers was that the rich got richer, Singular said. Fewer total networks have won more placements on regional, platform, and vertical listings because they are getting bigger, smarter, and more efficient than their competition.
Singular’s ROI Index analyzed the top 300 ad networks, 5,000 of the world’s largest apps, and over $20 billion in in-app revenue to find the best performing ad networks available for mobile growth. . There are thousands of advertising networks. But Singular’s goal is to find the best ones for mobile marketers and rank them in 27 different lists by category, region, and vertical.
Apple’s decision to change the way it informs users about privacy has had a big impact. It was much clearer to users that they had a choice whether or not to be tracked via the advertisers ID. With iOS 14.5, many more users opted out of being tracked for advertising purposes.
In fact, Facebook mentioned Apple and App Tracking Transparency, Apple’s recently introduced privacy technology, as a key driver in costing Facebook $10 billion in revenue over the next year.
Adtech in general has consolidated around fewer tools since Apple’s big changes in iOS 14.5 and iOS 15, according to the report. 30% fewer ad networks appear even in the list of top ad networks in terms of reach, scale, lack of fraud and return on investment. And some types of ad networks have worked well at the expense of others.
For example, search engines are doing better. It’s good for Google, and it’s also good for Apple, since Apple Search Ads is primarily driven by search queries. Social media, however, hasn’t fared so well. At least if their names aren’t TikTok, which has doubled spending year over year.
One result was that Apple’s own search ads and other searches rose 15% to 20%. Apple Search Ads grew 33% in 2021. Google and Facebook still dominate, but there are challenges among the top six ad networks, Singular said.
“If you’re developing a mobile game, the one place you can’t ignore is the store or marketplace where someone downloads your app. On iOS, it’s the App Store, and Apple has the only ad network that can advertise there: Apple Search Ads,” Singular consultant and study author John Koetsier said in an email to GamesBeat. privacy require all other ad networks to use a relatively new marketing measurement framework created by Apple, Apple Search Ads does not use it. Also interestingly, Apple Search Ads grew 33% annually, according to a new report by marketing analytics firm Singular. “
The top ad network is Facebook, followed by Google Ads, Apple Search Ads, Unity Ads, Snapchat, Liftoff, and Twitter.
Apple’s iOS privacy changes have made device identifiers, which allow advertisers with third-party targeting data, difficult to acquire and use. First-party data, however, is less impacted, meaning larger players in the ecosystem with more consumer contact can both better target and deliver ads.
Now we see the impact: there are 43% fewer names in the top echelon of advertising success.
As device identifiers became scarce on iOS, search-based ad networks, including Apple Search Ads and Google Ads, grew their market share by 15% to 20% over the year.
Without device identifiers, behavioral targeting is difficult, leaving only contextual targeting and search-based targeting. Search has always been a form of high-intent advertising targeting, generating outsized returns compared to contextual targeting, and so search-based networks have grown.
Apple Search Ads has become the highest quality ad network for iOS mobile user acquisition, delivering the highest ROI for mobile marketers. It also delivered measurable quality when others couldn’t after the launch of iOS 14.5 in spring 2021.
Through M&A activity, Singular has clearly seen a second tier of ad networks emerge under Google and Facebook. These include Apple Search Ads, AppLovin, IronSource, the combination of Liftoff and Vungle, TikTok, and Unity.
The full report contains details such as which ad networks have transitioned from post-IDFA methodologies to Apple’s SKAdNetwork methodologies. It also covers the big changes in TikTok with social ad inventory in a time of more privacy, the emergence of Unity Ads, and why Facebook and Google are still on top.
Over the past year, adtech companies such as AppLovin, IronSource, Liftoff+Vungle, and Digital Turbine have emerged as the new mid-tier of adtech, after Facebook and Google.
Why is Google still doing well? Koetsier said search is a high indicator of intent, which has always been a strong driver of ad relevance and, most importantly, people’s willingness to click, install, subscribe or buy. . So Google’s recent quarterly results have remained strong even on iOS…and of course with Android, Google is much less exposed to iOS changes as a percentage of its business than Facebook.
The good thing about Apple Search Ads, at least from Apple’s perspective? It’s literally a triple threat for accurate ad targeting because it works from an app store search, so it knows the user’s intent and it’s contextual.
Apple places App Store ads in the right context in addition to relevant ads. And finally, Apple has behavioral data that no one else knows: Apple sees what iOS users are doing in other Apple apps and uses it to help target the right ads to the right user at the right time.
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