Apple New Rules and Digital Advertisers: will be more difficult to ad ?

Apple deals another blow to digital advertisers at WWDC. Are you seeing a pattern here?

2018 — GDPR, the EU law on data protection and privacy, is passed.

New Year 2020 — CCPA, California’s version of GDPR, goes into effect.

mid-January 2020 — Google announces that they will no longer be supporting third-party cookies.

Then on last Monday, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple made an announcement that made us spit-take our cold-brew. As part of its iOS 14 update, Apple will require app developers to get user consent to be able to share user data with advertisers.

Apple has put a big emphasis on privacy in recent years as a way to differentiate itself from other tech giants. In its latest move, Apple will give users the option to only share their approximate location with apps, rather than precisely where they are.
In the App Store, users will also be able to see a summary of privacy information from an app before downloading it. And apps will have privacy “nutrition labels” showing how much or how little data they collect, such as location, browsing history or contacts. Each developer will self-report their privacy practices.

Let’s explain the Ad model on Apple iOS:

Apple assigns an Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) to every Apple device, such as your iPhone. This IDFA is used to track a user’s behavior and deliver targeted in-app advertising. Apple’s new rules will essentially make IDFA an opt-in feature for Apple device users, i.e. you have to agree before the feature is able to work. Without IDFA, in-app ads will be considerably less targeted. According to Matt Barash from AdColony: “Advertisers should prepare to recognize a shift in the scale of the audiences they can target.”

Apple, Google, Facebook, and everyone else in the data business is playing a game of tug-of-war with privacy advocates (including the U.S. federal government) on one end of the rope and advertisers (which pay their bills) on the other end.

No need to panic, but now is a good time to double down on efforts to own your own media and wean your reliance upon “renting” attention from other platforms.

For example: how are you building your email list? Is your content marketing strategy ultimately designed to bring traffic (through SEO and social media) to properties you own and control? These assets will only become more valuable!