US Limit Ad Tracking Opt-Out Highest in the West, Growing to 20% in the US Since iOS 10 Release
By Scott Green
October 12, 2016
After Apples release of iOS 10 with stronger Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) settings, 20% of US users have explicitly opted out of targeted advertising, representing almost 18 million people, according to a report released today by adjust. This number rose steadily throughout September, following the September 13 release of Apples iOS 10, where initially 18% of US users had opted-out. The updated operating system for iPhones and iPads enforces LAT preferences more strongly by blanking out the ID for Advertisers (IDFA) when LAT is enabled.
Since Apples initial release of iOS 10 with the Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) enforced update in September, 20% of US users have explicitly opted out of targeted advertising, representing around 18 million people.
The US ratio is also significantly higher than in Canada (14.4%), the United Kingdom (16.5%), Japan (13.6%), Ireland (12.4%), but roughly ties the Germans at 19.3%. The highest ratios worldwide are found in African countries, whereas countries in Southeast Asia and South America shows the lowest level of user opt-outs.
If this becomes a rising trend among iOS users, app marketers will need to increasingly monitor just how many users are opting out of ads, and shift strategies as a result.
The US ratio is now also significantly higher than in Canada (14.4%), the United Kingdom (16.5%), Japan (13.6%), Ireland (12.4%), but roughly ties the Germans at 19.3%. The highest ratios worldwide are found in African countries, whereas countries in Southeast Asia and South America shows the lowest level of user opt-outs.
When we looked at it prior to iOS 10, the global estimates could range from 13% to 15%. In this study, weve taken a look at the trends and at individual markets, says Paul H Mller, Co-Founder and CTO. This is trending in a direction where its not just the tech-savvy, ad-allergic crowd any more. Marketers will face a large, distributed and worst of all unknown segment of users, especially in places like Germany and the US.
While marketers wont be able to explicitly target users with LAT enabled, many platforms still rely on the IDFA for essential analytics. Key metrics like return on investment (ROI) or user retention can not be accurately computed if a large proportion of users are missing.
In the report, adjust aggregated the number of times the tracking solution has removed user data upon request of the user. adjusts platform analyzes anonymous network fingerprints to match in-app activity to ad engagement (in addition to more deterministic techniques available when users have not opted out). The data allows marketers to understand the effectiveness of different marketing initiatives. Indicators like Limit Ad Tracking are immediately aggregated and the raw, device-level data discarded regardless if the user has LAT enabled or not.
The report was built using adjusts latest product, Privacy Insights. These metrics enable app marketers to understand the ratio of users that have activated LAT by specific marketing channel, country or device type, in the adjust dashboard. The anonymized sums inform marketing teams about the preferences of their users converting from different ad campaigns. With this information, marketers can pursue broader, untargeted ad campaigns toward target audiences with high LAT ratios and still understand the return on investment, retention and engagement precisely.
Christian Henschel, CEO and Co-Founder of adjust, said: Privacy protection is one of our major commitments, which is not always taken for granted in mobile analytics. When we entered the space in 2012, we were the first company to pursue EU-standard privacy certifications, and has now become the standard. Analytics providers and app developers need to take responsibility and respect this outspoken user preference. People are stating their choice, and we need to forge a path for app marketers.
One user of adjusts solution is gaming company Rovio. With Privacy Insights, Rovio can understand how privacy-sensitive users are reached and the return on those investments, without intruding on user privacy by broadly placing advertising on sites or within apps that attract certain audiences, like certain types of games, magazines, or niche blogs.
Mller added: This is a non-intrusive measurement, where we essentially count the number of times weve stopped tracking a user to respect their LAT request. Individual device IDs are not stored in the adjust platform at all. This way, we can help marketers connect with audiences in a privacy-conscious and respectful way.
As marketers face a steadily growing unknown segment of users opting-out of targeted ads, the critical challenge will be calculating ROI and retention; however, fortunately, adjusts Privacy Insights solution to mitigate and manage the impact from this growing userbase.
To download the full report on 2016 Limit Ad Tracking Opt-out Ratios from adjust, please visit www.adjust.com.
adjust is a business intelligence platform for mobile apps with a focus on user acquisition, fraud prevention, and app marketing. The Berlin-based tech company provides the highest quality analytics and attribution solutions for companies, worldwide. With adjusts opensource SDK, app developers can identify, in real time, which advertising campaign has led to an app installation, how much money users spend on in-app purchases, or when a user is most likely to uninstall the app, among other features.
adjust is a Facebook Marketing Partner and a Twitter Marketing Platform Partner. More than 20,000 apps have implemented adjusts solutions to improve their performance. Among those are clients like Zalando, Rovio and Zynga as well as global brands like Microsoft and Warner Bros. Founded in Berlin in 2012, today adjust has ten offices across five continents: Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul, Paris, San Francisco, So Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.