Today, we released the first piece of data that quantifies the significance of conversion tracking for app publishers revenues, based on the usage of the unique device identifier (UDID). The reason the UDID matters is that ad impressions without data to enable conversion tracking could result in lower ad prices and therefore, lower ad revenues for publishers (see a full explanation of why here) . While we've heard about the AppStore rejections and Apple's deprecation of UDID, we haven't had a great sense of the potential magnitude of the issue until now.
As we've discussed before, there are many alternatives to UDID available to publishers and advertisers alike to patch up conversion tracking in the short run. But these are 1) the best of a bad bunch, as none address all of the existing conversion tracking needs across applications at scale, and, 2) unable to sufficiently address the privacy concerns on Capitol Hill, and 3) using something other than UDID could dramatically affect your short term revenues if your ad networks and DSPs aren't making the same change.
Perhaps more important though, the plethora of alternatives being proposed and adopted by different parties of the ecosystem is alarming. For instance, the MAC address alternative posited by many to be the preferred solution is actually less secure than UDID in many ways. Not only are many of these solutions inadequate, but they now create another dimension for fragmentation - now in the data realm. Even the OpenUDID, which we have decided to offer as an alternative for those app publishers who choose to use it, may be limited by the adoption of the same standard by ad networks, DSPs, or advertisers bidding on their impressions on MoPub Marketplace. To date, we're still seeing the majority of publishers using UDID data and having no issues with getting app updates approved by Apple. But the issue is obviously top of mind for app publishers, and as a monetization platform for publishers, our foremost goal is to provide the best possible monetization solution for our users. As such, we'll continue to investigate what the impact could be if conversion tracking data becomes a major problem. While today's data has raised some flags about the potential impact of the issue, our primary goal is to make sure that you're armed with the knowledge you need (and the most adaptable and flexible product) to choose your response. You can see the press release here. As always, we welcome comments, questions, and discussion!