Episode 13 features my very special guest, Gadi Eliashiv, CEO and co-founder of Singular, as we discuss user data on mobile devices and how that data is kept private.
Watch below and read on for a few takeaways.
Approximately 47% of US smartphone users have an iPhone. That’s more than 113 million users, giving Apple the highest market share in this country for both the iPhone and iOS operating system. This year, the company announced there are now more than 1 billion active iPhones in use. And as smartphones become the norm, so has targeted advertising on these devices.
Recent changes from Apple and other entities have thrown the advertising world into a bit of chaos as our industry balances tracking and measurement with user privacy. In this episode, we took a closer look at the current state of ad tracking and what these changes mean for digital advertisers.
Last June, Apple announced a new operating system: iOS 14 for iPhones and iPads. The release essentially killed off its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a device used by mobile marketers to attribute ad spend and track what’s most relevant for users.
As John Koetsier in Forbes writes, this was Apple’s “shot across the bow” of the $80B mobile app industry.
“The IDFA is dead,” he says. “Long live the IDFA.”
Previously, the IDFA was mostly hidden for users in the settings app. Now, with the new version of iOS, every app has to ask the user up front for permission to share their data with third parties. If the user says no, advertisers lose access to the data.
This change marks a key part of Apple’s messaging as it seeks to differentiate through its position on privacy. Watch the company’s latest ad about user privacy, highlighting the many ways the apps we use gather and share data about us:
This message is consistent with how Tim Cook has described the privacy situation:
These messages are also consistent with what Apple has been saying for years, including its previous fearless leader, Steve Jobs, at the All Things Digital Conference:
“I believe people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data.”
Jobs’ quote gives insight into Apple’s perspective as it’s taken steps regarding privacy in the decade since.
Currently, only 4% of US consumers using iOS 14 are opting in to have brands track their data for ad targeting. So, to put it mildly, the impact of this privacy change will be felt across the business world.
Original research from IAB helps clarify the possible repercussions of Apple’s IDFA measures. According to IAB, “Tracking is integral to a multi-billion-dollar economic system employing hundreds of thousands of people. [And] it makes much of the content of the web free.”
They estimated that if tracking data were lost today, publisher ad revenues and associated employment will fall by an average of 50%.
Verticals impacted by Apple’s privacy changes:
US independent publishers and companies reliant on open web tech would lose between $32 and $39 billion in annual revenue by 2025. Read the full IAB report for more information.
I was so glad to have Gadi on the show to help us clarify what this means for digital advertisers and how to navigate our first-party data future. Watch our full interview (starting at 11:05 in the video above) for his complete advice, and be sure to dig into Singular's resources on this topic.
Some takeaways from our conversation:
Katie Martell is the host of Experience TV, a show about the economic revolution we’re living through, the Experience Economy. She is known as an “unapologetic marketing truth-teller,” a LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing, and "one of the most interesting people in B2B marketing.” Her forthcoming documentary and book, "Woke-Washed," examines the collision of social movements and marketing, and she is the author of "Trust Me, B2B," a short book about building long-term trust. Follow her on Twitter @KatieMartell and subscribe to The World’s Best Newsletter at Katie-Martell.com.