AppsFlyer and MMA survey finds marketers becoming increasingly familiar with IDFA protocol as 56% anticipate negative impact

Sixty-three Percent of Marketers Will Invest in Probabilistic Modeling as IDFA Changes Shake Industry

SAN FRANCISCO & NEW YORK – October 28, 2020

AppsFlyer, the global attribution leader, today and MMA Global, the industry body dedicated to driving modern marketing and shaping the future of marketing, released the report, Apple, IDFA and iOS14: New Challenges, New Opportunities for Marketers. Analyzing how marketers view the upcoming IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) opt-in requirement, the findings highlight the implication of privacy related updates for business outcomes.

The survey found that marketers are still unfamiliar with the changes, yet those who do understand largely expect a negative impact on their capabilities. Yet, marketers agree that probabilistic data will take on greater weight as a solution for the next era of mobile marketing, especially as privacy becomes more important across the board.

“Apple’s planned updates represent an inflection point for the marketing industry, impacting the ability to measure and appropriately attribute mobile app advertising,” said Brian Quinn, President and General Manager, AppsFlyer. “AppsFlyer commissioned this survey to help marketers understand the effects of the changes and see how their peers are pivoting to probabilistic data and other tactics that will define the next era of mobile marketing.”

Key Findings:

  • Thirty-seven of respondents have little to no understanding of the IDFA protocol, though 28% are very to extremely familiar. The varying degrees of understanding of the IDFA changes in iOS 14 is surprising, given the protocol will dramatically change attribution for mobile advertising.
  • Among those who were already familiar with it, a major 73% said the IDFA protocol would have a strong negative impact. Fifty-four percent of respondents believe that at least half of all identifiers will be reduced due to IDFA implementation.
  • Spending will change, with 74% agreeing that publishers will suffer revenue losses. Nineteen percent of advertisers are very likely to shift ad spending within mobile, and 33% are somewhat likely to reduce mobile ad spend
  • Confidence in SKAdNetwork is low amid concerns over measurement granularity, absence of KPIs, and fraud risks. Only one third of respondents stated that they were somewhat-to-very likely to adopt SKAdNetwork. The vast majority of marketers remain on the fence about the solution, with 46% stating that they are Ònot sureÓ whether they will adopt it.

The industry has to adapt to Apple’s IDFA change, but also acknowledge that it is part of a larger turn towards consumer privacy dictated by GDPR in Europe and CCPA in the US. 80% of respondents find it somewhat, to extremely likely, that other mobile operating systems, such as Android, will enforce similar Òopt-inÓ approaches when it comes to identifiers. Anticipating this, 71% said they somewhat trust probabilistic data for audience targeting and 70% trust it somewhat for measurement and attribution.

“The MMA is committed to helping our industry understand and respond to the major policy shifts, such as Apple’s IDFA announcement, that will have a foundational and long-standing impact on mobile customer engagement,” said a representative from the MMA. “Through our collaboration with AppsFlyer on this survey, we have a better sense of the resources our members need to implement future plans for attribution; understand regulatory limits that are, or may be, imposed by businesses and legislators; and the advanced digital solutions needed to achieve results.”


A quantitative study was conducted using the MMA membership list and a total of N=171 surveys were completed. Qualifying marketers had varying levels of engagement in the mobile app ecosystem, representing advertisers, app owners, and app monetizers. All respondents had manager or above titles, with 66% being director or above. The survey was conducted in September 2020.

About MMA

Comprised of over 800-member companies globally and 15 regional offices, the MMA is the only marketing trade association that brings together the full ecosystem of marketers, martech and media companies working collaboratively to architect the future of marketing, while relentlessly delivering growth today. Led by CMO’s, the MMA helps marketers lead the imperative for marketing change Ð in ways that enable future breakthroughs while optimizing current activities. The MMA is committed to science and questioning and believes that creating marketing impact is steeped in constructively challenging the status quo encouraging business leaders to aggressively adopt proven, peer-driven and scientific best practices, without compromise. The MMA invests millions of dollars in rigorous research to enable marketers with unassailable truth and actionable tools. By enlightening, empowering and enabling marketers, the MMA shapes future success, while also propelling business growth.

About AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer, the global attribution and marketing analytics leader, empowers marketers to grow their business and innovate with a suite of comprehensive measurement solutions. Built around privacy by design, AppsFlyer takes a customer-centric approach to help 12,000+ brands and its marketplace of 8,000+ technology partners make better business decisions every day, while delighting their end-users.

Ready to start making good choices?