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68% of mobile game developers find marketing more difficult after Apple ATT | Pocket

Mobile game developers have felt a bigger sting from Apple’s privacy changes than app developers, according to a new report from Tenjin and Growth FullStack.

Titled Appocalypse Now, the report surveyed 302 companies in the UK and US unrelated to Tenjin or Growth Fullstack to explore the impact of Apple’s privacy changes to mobile apps over the past year. ..

Following the introduction of ATT, advertiser spend on Google Play increased at the expense of the App Store, with 59% shifting some of their budget, but the report notes that iOS has started to recover lost ground.

The projected budget for this year is, on average, still marginally in favor of Apple at 53%.

Application adaptations

Apple’s privacy change was originally announced in June 2020 and, with the release of iOS 14.5, went into effect in April last year. Having had 10 months to prepare for the change, 68% of respondents in the report felt “at least fairly well prepared”, although 55% acknowledged that marketing had become more complicated by then.

Games suffered more from Apple’s changes than apps in general, with marketing being more difficult for 68% in the mobile games industry compared to 43% for apps.

In terms of marketing stacks, 87% of mobile advertisers now use an MMP and 56% of those using benchmarked business intelligence tools using Google Data Studio.

The estimated revenue loss was 39% on average after the change, while 65% plan to increase ad spend in 2022. The vast majority – 84% – fear Android will bring a similar change to Apple, with 75% per cent of those whose incomes have been hit fearing their business is in jeopardy.

Open to alternatives

Among the sample surveyed by Tenjin, 93% of mobile advertisers plan to invest in alternative Android stores this year; the three most popular of these alternative ecosystems are the Samsung Galaxy Store, Huawei App Gallery, and Cafe Bazaar.

Now that mobile advertisers need to automate processes to manage anonymized SKAN data, 75% of respondents have implemented some form of automation in daily workflow and 63% plan to use fingerprinting or attribution probabilistic this year.

Notably, while the US has reported more difficulties than the UK in mobile marketing since the introduction of Apple’s ATT, the UK has reported higher rates of data scientists in mobile marketing. workforce and 92% use fingerprints compared to 78% in the United States.

“One thing is crystal clear and that is that the direction of privacy on iOS and Android is set. More changes are inevitable, although we are still adapting to those that came into effect a year,” said Tenjin co-founder and CEO Christopher Farm.

“In order to keep developing great apps and games, we need to keep adapting.”

“Diversified sources of income are essential”

Roman Garbar, Marketing Director at Tenjin, spoke to about the report’s findings and the desire for more seismic change. Over the past two years, much of the discourse and expectation around the disruption of mobile and in-app advertising has been somewhat vague. time will tell us. Has it amplified the desire to see less influence from Apple and Google, and – an unfairly heavy question – what needs to happen for this movement to begin?

Roman Garbar: Even before ATT, we saw a trend in ad spend gradually shifting from iOS to Android. This was accelerated by concerns over the impact of ATT, with more studios shifting their testing and marketing spend to Android. But iOS isn’t going anywhere fast in terms of importance to game developers. Both Apple and Google are platform owners, so their influence is unlikely to be reduced, and I don’t think there’s any particular ideological desire on the part of developers to do so.

But in the age of privacy-driven marketing, diverse revenue streams are a must, which is why our survey shows that 99% of mobile game advertisers in our survey plan to spend in alternative Android ecosystems. I expect game publishers who figure out how to use them effectively will reap greater rewards in the medium term.

Tellingly, game developers surveyed said they were more strongly affected by existing changes and more concerned about the future than app developers. Is this a reflection of the bespoke challenges facing the mobile games industry or more indicative of the industry’s common perception?

Mobile game developers are marketing innovators, with app publishers typically looking to games for inspiration. In my opinion, this actually turned into a downside when privacy-focused changes kicked in, as game developers used more advanced, data-driven ways to market their games.

Some of these methods are now canceled, which explains the reaction of the games industry. It’s also worth pointing out here that the entire mobile industry, games and non-games, is going to completely change in two years (again…) due to Android’s privacy changes and additional measures on iOS. Those who adapt the fastest will be the first winners.

The influence of Apple’s privacy-focused approach will have a lasting impact: following the introduction of ATT, Sensor Tower reported that mobile gaming revenue first declined in the first quarter of 2022.

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