What is SKAdNetwork? 

SKAdNetwork was introduced by Apple in 2018. The API was originally created as an alternative approach to IDFA to measure advertising campaigns while focusing on privacy. 

Fast forward to 2021 and the rollout of iOS 14.5, IDFA is now opt-in for users and SKAdNetwork will play a big part in the future of measuring mobile ad campaigns on iOS devices for users who opt-out on the new ATT consent flow. 

How does SKAdNetwork work? 

Essentially, SKAdNetwork is a privacy-friendly way to attribute impressions and clicks to installs on iOS apps. Conversion data is shared with advertisers without revealing any user-level or device-level data. Attribution happens within the App Store and data is cleansed of anything that could compromise a person’s identity before being shared with the networks. 

Why is SKAdNetwork important for publishers? 

SKAdNetwork will become the primary attribution framework for all iOS 14.5 devices. To ensure publishers don’t lose out on revenue, they need to upgrade their SDKs, become SKAdNetwork compliant, optimize LAT waterfalls, and implement a user consent flow so they are ready to bid on inventory in a post IDFA world. 

Here’s how publishers using MAX can prepare for iOS 14.

Why is SKAdNetwork important for advertisers?

Opt-in data for IDFA is not yet available, but it’s safe to assume a large percentage of users will opt-out. Advertisers will rely more on contextual marketing, as opposed to behavioral, to understand how ad campaigns are performing on iOS devices through SKAdNetwork or probabilistic attribution methods with their MMP

SKAdNetwork Limitations

  • Lack of access to data, with only aggregates available. User or ad group level data will not be reported on. 
  • ROAS related metrics and ad creative metrics are not supported.
  • Post-install event metrics are extremely limited, with only a single event reported to the network. 
  • Post backs are delayed by at least 24 hours after install, which makes optimizing campaigns in real-time very difficult. 

What are the alternatives to SKAdNetwork? 

The industry has been preparing for the anticipated changes for quite some time. 

Publishers using MAX can maintain their edge on iOS 14 by following these key steps.

For advertisers, they can take advantage of probabilistic attribution with their MMP to ensure their UA campaigns are not impacted. 

More key iOS 14 terms: 

Interested in learning more?

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