Big Shifts in Budgets and CPMs in Fallout of iOS 14.5 as Identified by Bidalgo

Bidalgo publishes iOS 14.5 data that indicates:

  • Advertiser budgets have shifted to Android at the expense of iOS, leading to an increase in CPMs on Android
  • Budgets are shifting to ad networks and Apple Search Ads
  • CTR decreasing on iOS
  • Overall budget spend is stable and aligned with previous years’ seasonality
  • Advertisers are focusing more on specific country targeting, possibly targeting more iOS 14.4 and down users, while the iOS 14.5 rollout has been slow on adoption 

One month after the launch of iOS 14.5, Bidalgo has published some initial insights about iOS marketing at the age of the AppTrackingTransparency Framework. From the overall view of marketing budgets, to the shift between Android and iOS and how marketers are experimenting, the company’s insights are based on over $1 billion in yearly spend that runs through its platform, across numerous channels.

All signs indicate that Apple is pushing iOS 14.5 adoption much slower than previous releases. The budgets that marketers are managing to spend on campaigns that require iOS 14.4 and below indicate that most iOS users still were not prompted to update their devices. Recent data from Branch Metrics seemingly confirms this.

And if the impact of actual updated users is limited, how can we explain shifts that look significant? Some of it is, undoubtedly, merely since iOS 14.5 is out. Even if most of the users are still on iOS 14.4 and below, it’s obvious that Apple is not going to hold off much longer. In fact, as the recently released iOS 14.6 is another feature-heavy update, which adds features such as podcast subscriptions and hi-res sound support, it makes sense to assume that it will be pushed to users much more quickly.

Here are the trends Bidalgo sees since the release of iOS 14.5:

  • In the past two months, Android increased its budget allocation lead over iOS by 11 points. Android users are suddenly more lucrative, due to the unrestricted targeting ability on Google’s mobile OS. This, in turn, spurs many marketers to increase Android budgets, leading to CPM increase. Specifically:
    • On Snapchat, 60% of apps increased their Android budgets and 67% of apps saw CPM increases.
    • On Facebook, 40% of apps increased Android budgets and 30% saw CPM increases.
    • On Google, 34% of apps increased Android budgets and 59% saw CPM increases.
  • Meanwhile, iOS CPMs are dropping, as was expected with less precise targeting and lower CTRs.
    • On Facebook, 64% of apps saw CPM decreases.
    • On Google, 61% of apps saw CPM decreases.
    • On Tiktok, 72% of apps saw CPM decreases.
  • When looking at the budget allocation between publishers, Facebook remains the undisputed leader on iOS, followed by Apple and Google. That said, ever since the launch of iOS 14.5 we’re witnessing a growth trend in budget allocation to ad networks, up 6 points since the beginning of March. Apple Search Ads is another winner, with an increase of 4 points in the budget allocation mix.
  • That said, we don’t see anything that would indicate meaningful changes in overall marketing budget allocations. The seasonal week-to-week budget trends are similar to those of previous years (except for 2020, which was an outlier year).
  • The majority of our clients see CTR decreases on iOS as they begin to enter the post-IDFA world, either organically or through proactive testing.
    • On Facebook, 65% of apps had CTR decreases.
    • On Google, 44% of apps had CTR decreases.
    • On TikTok, 47% of apps had CTR decreases.
  • Facebook advertisers are experimenting more with country targeting, likely chasing iOS 14.4 audiences which can still be targeted more easily with most of the increases are in targeting outside of the US, both in single country targeting and in country bundles.

Source: Bidalgo

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