Will rewarded incentives help save opt-in ad tracking? New research suggests no

Written and Researched by: Lily Crawford, Brian Larson, David Nebenzahl

As we inch closer to the release date for iOS 14 there has been loads of speculation on how this will affect the advertising ecosystem. For an industry, the loss of IDFA may have dire consequences for ad targeting and attribution, including significant expected CPM decline. There is little doubt in many people’s minds that Google is not far behind with a similar announcement for GAID’s. 

What does this all mean? It’s a good question, and many of us are still guessing at what the fallout will look like. During an online webinar in July, Beeswax CEO Ari Paparo referred to it as the “IDFA Apocalypse”.

In a previous survey on IDFA we presented responses from iOS users asked if they would select “Allow Tracking” when presented with the proposed Apple notification. According to our research, 63% of people said they were unlikely or extremely unlikely to allow tracking.

Some companies have suggested that they would offer rewards in order to have users opt-in and “Allow Tracking”. Apple could provide some flexibility to developers which may increase the number of users who would opt-in, such as different language in the message or the ability to reward users. There is still no clarity from Apple if users can even be incentivized with a direct or indirect message to opt-in to ad tracking, but assuming it’s possible, would these incentives be enough to change users’ minds? We polled 1200 mobile Free to Play users, ages 18-54, in the US to find out. You can see the full results of our research here.

We found similar results to our previous IDFA research (full results here), with 85% of those surveyed saying that they would not allow tracking when asked to “Allow Tracking.” Next, we asked if an incentive, such as “50 Gems to Allow Tracking” would change the result. 

Our research found that even with this incentive, 67% of respondents would still “Ask App Not to Track”. Although some respondents changed their minds, the survey suggests that the majority of users may still opt-out of ad tracking.

When asked about ad tracking more broadly, the largest segment of respondents did not answer favorably. Any other similar ideas to incentivize users to opt-in will have to take into consideration this negative sentiment towards IDFA. The research suggests that un-rewarded consent may likely have low opt-in and rewarded consent may not significantly increase opt-in. In the end, publishers and developers will need to diversify their methods of monetization and user acquisition. 

About the poll:

TapResearch conducted this survey across their network of random mobile devices. The poll was conducted on August 5, 2020 with 1,201 respondents. Each respondent was a verified mobile user.

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact Michael Sprague at michael@tapresearch.com

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