Mobile advertising companies are drawn to mind-boggling valuations. But wait… isn’t Apple torpedoing the ability to target and measure app advertising with its AppTrackingTransparency framework, SKAdNetwork, and other privacy-focused policies?
We unravel that contradiction in this week’s episode of The Big Story, where the editorial team is joined by special guest John Koetsier, a multi-hyphen who hosts the podcast and video series TechFirst, writes for Forbes and does its fair share of angel investing.
One of the themes of mobile consolidation appears to be the “buffet” approach, whereby companies bring game studios, ad technology, measurement, and other mobile players together into a single entity. AppLovin is the poster child of this trend with his $ 1 billion purchase of MoPub on Twitter in early October – one of the many times he’s opened his wallet in recent years.
AppLovin also continued to build strong relationships with users through acquisitions (see Machine Zone) and investments in mobile game studios. And that’s not the only one – ironSource also has its own game studio, Supersonic. Seems like first party relationships are more important when confidentiality is paramount.
Then there is Apple itself. Selling a privacy-focused phone is good for Apple’s hardware business, but it’s also good for its advertising business. Since implementing the privacy protocols for iOS 14+, Apple’s research announcements take credit for more than half of all app installs, according to data from mobile measurement firm Branch which were recently featured in a much-discussed Financial Times article.
But Branch’s data tracks attribution, not spend – and we all know marketers optimize to places that drive results, making Apple’s rapidly growing search ad business a place. foolproof for investing in performance announcements. Antitrust, however, anyone?