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Advertising based on app tracking transparency: Apple wins, app providers lose

Apple’s data protection feature App Tracking Transparency, or ATT for short, is intended to ensure that users can determine for themselves whether their iPhone and iPad actions can be tracked across apps. To this end, the group has built in new software features that integrate an opt-in loop. There was a lot of criticism of the function from the part of the app providers and advertisers – they fear that they will lose income if there is no tracking. This seems to be the case, while one thing is profiting from it: Apple itself. This is evident from analyzes carried out by advertising experts.

As the Financial Times reported, Apple is said to have tripled the market share of its advertising business – in about the same period of time as ATT has existed. However, this has a lot to do with the fact that Apple is now fully relying on search ads in the App Store. When you enter search terms, sponsored results will appear there.

According to the mobile marketing specialist Branch, Apple is now responsible for almost 60 percent of all iPhone downloads via said advertising, while a year ago the group – albeit with less advertising – was still responsible for 17 percent of all installs. This, in turn, has a direct impact on in-app advertising at third-party providers, who had previously generated no small part of their income from advertising for other programs.

The “Apple Search Ads” are now Bundesliga, so branch expert Alex Bauer. Apple is said to be generating around 5 billion US dollars this year from its advertising business, and in three years this sum could rise to 20 billion, according to the economic research firm Evercore ISI. Some of Apple’s search ads use personalization, even if Apple claims that this is always anonymized. Above all, there is criticism because it looks as if Apple takes itself out of ATT and the associated rules. No other advertising network is allowed to do something like this. Among other things, Apple delivers real-time data to advertisers.

The impact ATT has on app operators can be seen in the latest figures from the messaging service Snap. This just had to accept a turnover that was at least three million dollars lower, which the company justified with the introduction of ATT. Nevertheless, the company is still behind Apple and ATT, according to boss Evan Spiegel. A certain amount of business disruption is expected because the (ATT replacement) solutions currently “do not scale as expected”. Basically, however, Apple’s data protection policy is correct. Recently, however, there have been reports that ATT is actually not working as well as Apple had hoped.

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