Patience Haggin, Wall Street Journal:
After the tracking change took effect in April, many users of Apple’s iOS operating system have received a high volume of prompts from apps asking permission to track them—requests that most have declined. Less than 33% of iOS users opt in to tracking, according to ad-measurement firm Branch Metrics Inc.
Many users have received a high volume of prompts? What does this mean? Do the Branch Metrics numbers measure all iOS users and, thus, that 33% number includes folks running older versions? “Less than 33%” of iOS users opt in to tracking seems a ridiculously high number if it’s purely measuring folks who’ve responded to the “track me” prompt.
As of June 22, more than 70% of iOS devices had been upgraded to a version that requires the tracking prompt, according to Branch Metrics, allowing advertisers to begin assessing the impact.
Tinuiti advertisers were allocating about 50% of their Audience Network spending to iOS users at the start of April. By the end of June, they were spending about 20% on iOS users, Mr. Taylor said. Advertisers have typically spent more per iOS user, seeing them as bigger spenders than Android users.
The trend is clear. Advertisers are switching away from iOS, presumably because they can’t get that precious personal ad response data.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in March that “it’s possible that we may even be in a stronger position” after Apple’s change, particularly if it encourages “more businesses to conduct commerce on our platforms, by making it harder for them to basically use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms.”
Early days still. The value of Apple users (and their deep pockets) hasn’t changed. Long term, I’d expect still another shift, as advertisers adjust to new models of reaching those users. What I don’t see is them abandoning iOS users in favor of Android. At least not in the long term.