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iPhone App Tracking Transparency takes a bite out of iOS ad market – report

Apple’s introduction of App Tracking Transparency for iPhone and iPad has caused a serious shift in the mobile advertising industry, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal draws its conclusions via two ad-measurement firms: Tenjin Inc. and Branch Metrics. The former saus that between June 1 and July 1, ad spending on iOS fell by around a third, while spending on Android rose by about 10% in the same period.

The reason for this? “Digital advertisers say they have lost much of the granular data that made mobile ads on iOS devices effective and justified their prices,” the site reports.

This is where Branch Metrics’ data comes in. The firm claims that less than a third of iOS users have opted in to requests from apps to track them, since the choice was introduced in iOS 14.5. And the damage may not be entirely done for advertisers yet – the ad measurement firm says that, as of June 22, “over 70%” of iOS devices have been upgraded to include ad tracking, which still leaves a decent proportion potentially still to make the move.

The knock-on effect from this is that the price for mobile ads directed at iPhone owners has fallen, while the price has gone up for Android targeted ads. As Tinuiti Inc.’s research director Andy Taylor explains in the report, iOS users opting out of tracking means that the company’s advertisers can no longer bid on them, which in turn means their attention moves on to those using Android.

Suffice it to say that while this may be a serious worry to iPhone app makers that depend on advertising to fund their work, privacy enthusiasts aren’t losing any sleep over this development. On the r/apple subreddit, where the Journal’s report is being discussed, the top rated comment simply reads: “after fumigation, roaches move nextdoor…”

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