Apple’s iOS 14.5 update included the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy feature which for the first time allowed mobile users to opt-in tracking across third-party apps and websites. Unlike the privacy experts, digital advertisers bemoaned the ATT feature and accused Apple of introducing measures to promote its apps and services.
A new study, funded by Apple, reveals that the company’s App Store Search Ads business does not benefit from App Tracking Transparency rules and other reasons are behind the success of Apple Search Ads.
Researcher Kinshuk Jerath, Ph.D., a professor of Business in the Marketing Division at Columbia Business School disclosed that although Apple has provided the fund for the white paper, the company did not provide any private data or documentation, and only publically available information was used. Furthermore, the white paper included Jerath’s opinions and not of the company.
The introduction of App Tracking Transparency does not push ad revenue from other companies to Apple
App Store Search Ads business allows developers to choose their own or suggested keywords to engage customers when they search with an ad at the top of the search results. The company uses cost-per-tap (CPT) pricing which the developers only pay when a customer taps your ad.
Refuting the criticism that Apple introduced the App Tracking Transparency feature to benefit its ads business, the research states that the iOS privacy feature does not benefit the company’s search ads business which is blooming because of other reasons.
Apple is unlikely to have significantly benefitted from ATT because Apple Search Ads is a small part of the overall mobile advertising market and because displaced advertising spending could move to many other companies that effectively leverage first-party data for advertising.
Growth in Appl Search Ads predated the introeuction of ATT and is likely drvien in party by other factores like continued overall growth of mobile ads and app install ads, growth of ads in certain app categories and the launch of App Search Ads in China.