Apple Begins 2021 With 2 Major Changes That Advertisers, Developers Need To Know

Apple plans to lower the App Store fee from 30% to 15% for developers who generate as much as $1 million in annual revenue from their apps and those who are new to the store.

The change will go into effect January 1, 2021 as part of an App Store Small Business Program.

Apple said it is making the change to provide financial help to small developers and to give them a way to invest in their businesses as they face challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company will put advertisers, publishers, and agencies through changes as well. For example, Apple hopes to promote consumer privacy through IDFA, which requires consumers to opt in to -- rather than opting out of -- advertisements running on iOS-based computers, smartphones and tablets.

Apple in June announced that iOS 14 would have new privacy features requiring consumers to opt in for permission to be tracked, and those who do not will no longer be targeted by advertisements that use the identifier for advertisers (IDFA).



IDFA is a string of numbers and letters assigned to Apple devices such as iPhones, iPad, and Apple TVs.

Advertisers use IDFA to identify iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS users across apps. Production companies that build creative for connected TV, YouTube and other platforms rely on these apps to target ads to viewers.

How will IDFA affect the industry? AppsFlyer released a study on Tuesday acknowledging that marketers know little about how it will affect their campaigns.

Here are the basics. Apple will begin requiring apps to ask users for permission to collect and share identifying data.

Some say Apple will prevent advertisers from learning much about the habits of anonymous users. This could hurt companies with a business model that relies on having a lot of knowledge about users, such as Facebook and Google.

But the IDFA controversy isn’t about a fight between Apple and two other tech superpowers -- it's about restricting data to advertisers.

There are numerous opinions on how the elimination of Apple’s IDFA will impact various industries.

Brian Bowman, CEO at Consumer Acquisition, which says it manages $3 billion in creative and social ad spend for the world’s largest mobile games, apps and performance advertisers, believes the changes Apple plans to make with iOS 14 will hurt mobile app advertisers.

Most affected are those focused on mobile ad measurement, mobile marketing, user acquisition, ad networks, and advertisers, including game companies.

Apple plans to enforce the rule in early 2021. It has offered its SKAd Network as a way to measure advertising results with less data.

The move is part of a larger move toward consumer privacy following rules set in place by Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and California’s privacy law in the U.S.

Agencies such as Merkle, tech companies like IBM, and companies such as are all finding ways to solve the challenges of working with less data from Apple.

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