Apple loves to bring consumers new operating systems as regularly as possible. This autumn will see the latest in iOS, with Apple set to release iOS 15. The changes made for iOS 15 are all about increasing transparency for both marketers and customers. Discover below exactly who these changes will affect.
Changes to the SKAdNetwork
One of the most major changes is in the data that Apple gives to advertisers through their SKAdNetwork or SKAN. Now, all individual advertisers can opt in to receive data on when their advertisements directly lead to a purchase or an app installation.
The biggest loser under this change in iOS 15 will be the self-attributing networks that came to prominence during iOS 14. Under iOS 14, it was only specially registered self-attributing ad networks that could receive data on the success of advertisements. This gave self-attributing networks all the power in their relationship with individual advertisers, as they controlled the much sought-after information on the success of advertisements.
So what does this mean for the self-attributing ad networks? They will now be redundant on iOS 15. Gone are the days when a single network could control the data of the advertisers under them. On iOS 15, this power is now in the hands of the new SKAN network, and therefore in the hands of the individual advertisers.
Naturally, the main winner in the marketing world from this change are the individual advertisers. These groups will now benefit from vastly improved transparency. Now they can access all the data relating to their advertisements in the rawest form, without having to go through the lengthy process of working with a self-attributing ad network.
Changes to Tracking
In previous versions of iOS, apps had the ability to track customers in the background without their knowledge. Developers could then use this data to improve the way their apps operate, or to better target the advertisements. As part of their commitment to transparency in iOS 15, Apple customers will now be able to choose if they want to be tracked.
The main winner in these changes is Apple itself, especially if they can convince the majority of customers to opt-out of tracking. App publishers will no longer be able to use targeted advertisements to take consumers out of their app. Instead, more purchases that app publishers can convince customers to make, will be made in-app. Apple takes a sizable 30% chunk from all of these transactions.
Whether Apple customers will benefit or be harmed by the changes to tracking in iOS 15 is debatable. No doubt, they will find themselves with a higher level of privacy, as advertisers have much less access to their lives. But when customers choose to opt-out of tracking, they could run into difficulties. Their apps will not work as well, and the adverts they receive will be irrelevant for them. The advertisements may not even be in the right language. Changes to tracking will oversimplify the matter, and force customers to make a binary decision on tracking without enough information.
Will Marketers Benefit from iOS 15?
Predicting if marketers will be better off under iOS 15 is an impossible question. Small marketers who had previously worked under self-attributing networks will find themselves with much more freedom and autonomy. However, they will now fall much more under the influence of Apple. New changes to tracking will give Apple even more control over consumer data. Only time will tell how this balance works out.