Only 4% of American iPhone users are opting into App Tracking

In the second week after Apple began offering the choice of opting in to app tracking or opting out via iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Flurry analytics data reveals that very few Americans are choosing to allow apps to track them across apps and sites. Flurry’s daily data is based on 5.3 million users, of which 2.5 million are in America.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency allows you to choose whether an app can track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for the purposes of advertising or sharing with data brokers.

With iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked with information that identifies you or your device collected on apps, websites and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.

Estelle Laziuk for Flurry:

Until now, apps have been able to rely on Apple’s Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) to track users for targeting and advertising purposes. With the launch of iOS 14.5 this week, mobile apps now have to ask users who have upgraded to iOS 14.5 for permission to gather tracking data.

Flurry Analytics, owned by Verizon Media, is used in over 1 million mobile applications, providing aggregated insights across 2 billion mobile devices per month. For this report, Flurry will be updating every weekday by 10am Pacific Standard Time the daily opt-in rate…

Only 4% of American iPhone users are opting into tracking

Only 4% of American iPhone users are opting into tracking

MacDailyNews Take: The only thing surprising is that 4% of Americans and 12% of users worldwide are opting in.

As we wrote last month, from personal experience, nearly twenty years now (!), the life of an independent publisher is an interesting one!

Right now, online ads don’t pay the bills (if you can, please help by contributing or by whitelisting us in your ad blockers), so the prospect of ad prices dropping further as a result of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency is daunting, but also exciting as any shakeup also holds the prospect of going the opposite way, where ads – and fewer of then, too – actually work to finance the site. When that was the case, visitors got a site for free and we were able to do the work and pay the bills. Then ad rates dropped, ad blocking arose, the number of ads increased causing more ad blocking, and many high profile independent websites have gone belly up in recent years.

By the way, we’re all for Apple’s App Tracking Transparency privacy push. Users should know what data they’re sharing – before they share it – and be able to control it at will.

Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with your data. — Steve Jobs

Anyway, we’ll see how App Tracking Transparency shakes out. The online ad situation as it exists today isn’t working very well (or at all), so hopefully it results in a positive change that doesn’t just benefit Big Tech, but also helps long-suffering independent publishers like us, too!

As an aside, we’re currently seeing about 15% of our revenue goal financed by reader contributions about a year after launching it at the request of longtime readers who prefer to use ad-blockers, but who would also like to be able support the site’s continued operation. We thank you so much for supporting our independent tech blog. You’re the reason we’re still here today!

Please, regular visitors, to help support MacDailyNews, either contribute or whitelist us. Thank you!

Another 20% of our revenue goal is brought in via ads. Yes, we’re currently operating at about 35% of our revenue goal which is, uh… suboptimal, but we’re beginning to come off the COVID-19 shock to online advertising and now ready to see what App Tracking Transparency will do – hopefully good things!

5 Comments

  1. Ironically all of this this could lead to more relevant advertising and higher revenue for publishers and advertisers.

    Right now, there must be at least a dozen ads on this page, and none of them are relevant to me. Someone is paying for me to see ads I’ll never click on (CPM) or wasting space on ads that will never generate traffic or sales (CPC).

    In the old days, print magazines sold ads based on the only two factors they could be sure of: interest (car ads in car magazines) and demographics (moms buy soup, dads buy tools).

    It wasn’t perfect, but it worked.

    I’m not saying we have to go back that far, but it would be interesting to see how well MDN could do if they replaced their spray-and-pray ads with a handful of custom offers tailored specifically to the readers of this site (Apple users and AAPL millionaire) perhaps with directly-relevant affiliate marketing links.

    1. I can see your point. Show me an ad for a Mac mini or MacBook Pro with lots of ports and user expandibility and I’ll absolutely definitely respond positively to that ad! I’ll even buy the advertised product straight away – the first time in my life I’ll ever’ve responded to an internet ad.

    2. I don’t think it’s MDN’s choice currently as to what ads are displayed. They just include a web component that shows ads and it shows whatever the ad server decides to send. It is possible that some info could be included by MDN for the ad component to narrow down what types of ads get displayed. (e.g. ‘tech related’ vs ‘personal hygiene’). That way click-through percentage would be more in the site owner’s control based on what categories the owner has chosen.

  2. Show me an ad that’s not like an irritating fly at a picnic and effectiveness goes up 99%.

    I have one objective with such ads (MDN’s “Edge” ads, for ie.) that think blocking the reader’s view is productive…”kill it.” They are like demanding children, but they don’t deserve your attention.

    With this in mind and the “do not track” gaining steam, I give a strong “yes” to:

    “all of this this could lead to more relevant advertising and higher revenue for publishers and advertisers.”

    I might add, “will lead to.”

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