The evolution of mobile app advertising post iOS 14

July 24, 2020

Tags: DSPs, Industry Perspectives, Marketers, Publishers

Jeff Carlson
David Gregson


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At WWDC 2020, Apple announced several changes to iOS 14 that aim to increase the level of control and transparency each user has over their own data. When iOS 14 rolls out, consumers will be required to opt in to ad tracking via a new user notification when an app first launches. These changes impact the mobile ad tech industry’s operating norms that have existed since iOS 6 unveiled the ID for Advertisers (IDFA). Beginning with iOS 14, collection of the IDFA will be “opt-in” per mobile app. Until this change, a user would have had to access their device settings to enable “Limit Ad Tracking.” With iOS 14, the IDFA will be inaccessible until the user has accepted a publisher-initiated prompt.

iOS 14 is slated to be released in September 2020, and if past iOS releases are any indication, more than half of all iOS devices will run the new OS by October 2020. 

In response to the upcoming changes, MoPub plans to release a new version of the MoPub SDK that will support SKAdNetwork, Apple’s framework for on-device mobile install attribution. MoPub proposes to support SKAdNetwork attribution by allowing advertising partners to submit signed clicks to the SKAdNetwork API. In order to accurately measure ad events, Apple’s API requires a “signature” from advertising partners indicating who drove the click. As part of our proposed spec, DSPs would provide this signature and associated metadata to MoPub. MoPub’s SDK would then pass this signature into Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.

DSPs wishing to leverage SKAdNetwork must register with Apple. A registration provides:

  • A SKAdNetwork ID

  • A private key which allows them to sign their click which can be verified by Apple

  • The option to specify a postback endpoint to receive install attribution notifications

MoPub’s proposal can be found here. We are in the process of socializing this with the IAB, our clients, and other industry partners, and we want to obtain feedback on the proposal. We expect there to be a few iterations before the industry comes to a final solution. A standard approach will ensure that the industry can come together to find a scalable solution.

Have feedback on this? Get in touch with our team at


About the author: David Gregson, Sr. Product Manager

David joined MoPub in 2017, and works on our mediation and exchange offerings. Before MoPub he worked at Vungle for four years where he held positions in Sales and Engineering before finding his “just-right” porridge in Product. He was creatively uninspired when he chose the handle @davidgregson


About the author: Jeff Carlson, Manager, Technical Solutions Consulting

Jeff has been with MoPub since 2015 and has worked in the greater mobile app ecosystem since 2008. At MoPub, he focuses on managing the team that provides expert technical support and services to our partners and clients in the ad tech supply chain. When not trying to solve complex industry technical challenges or evangelizing innovative products and solutions, he tweets at @jeffreycarlson.

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