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Apple’s privacy measures — which had a negative impact on mobile gaming revenues — boosted its own Apple Search Ads business, according to a report by InMobi‘s Appsumer division.

The report provides a snapshot of advertiser behavior from the second quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022 and reveals that Apple has gotten a significant boost to its Apple Search Ads because of its AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) initiatives (as the privacy measures were called), while Facebook and Snap saw sharp declines in both share-of-wallet and market share.

I don’t know about you, but if I were an antitrust regulator, I would be doing a doubletake on this kind of data, where a major platform owner makes a change that benefits itself and hurts its platform competitors.

Appsumer provides a performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers, and it has unveiled its benchmark report on how major advertisers are leveraging the top sources for app downloads, as analyzed through advertiser channel adoption and share-of-wallet.

The report also revealed that smaller advertisers continue to struggle with the increasing complexity of cross-channel advertising; while the number of channels used didn’t move significantly, the underlying data shows more detail on how larger marketers adjusted their spend in real-time.

Large advertisers increased the channels used year-over-year by an average of 1.4 channels to a total of 10.7. In contrast, smaller advertisers decreased the channels used on average by 1.1 year-over-year to 2.5.

“There seems to be a clear divide between the success of larger advertisers and the struggle of smaller advertisers,” said Shumel Lais, general managerof Appsumer at InMobi, in a statement. “The largest advertisers likely increased channels to maintain volume when performance dipped on some channels. Smaller advertisers frequently lack the creative, data and optimization resources to diversify quickly.”

Lais recommended that smaller app players consider building lean experimentation processes to help diversify channels. And he said a cost-effective data infrastructure can help provide valuable insights into the complexities of cross-channel measurement in a post-ATT world.

The report findings also highlight the shifts among market leaders, including:

Apple Search Ads joins the duopoly of Meta and Google at the top table of advertiser adoption, with adoption growing nearly four percentage points to 94.8%, while Facebook adoption declined three percentage points to 82.8 percent.

Apple Search Ads’ share-of-wallet rose five percentage points, reaching a 15% share. Apple’s first-party data advantage on iOS for both measurement and targeting has helped, but they will need more inventory, which is why rumors of an Apple demand-side platform (DSP) are swirling.

Meta’s adoption declined four percentage points, still finishing significantly ahead with a 28% share and a year-over-year decline of 4 percentage points in their share-of-wallet. However, the data reveals that Meta is seeing an increase of share-of-wallet over the last quarter, suggesting that they’re starting to recover from initial ATT headwinds.

Snap lost 50% of its share-of-wallet and was impacted by both the current economic climate and ATT headwinds. (It’s no surprise to see Snap’s recent layoffs). However, while adoption declined three percentage points to 32.7%, it bounced back from 25.4% in the first quarter of 2022. Snap may recover its share-of-wallet with growth quarter-over-quarter and could be a leading indicator in coming quarters.

TikTok pulled ahead Snap for both advertiser adoption and share-of-wallet. However, TikTok’s advertiser adoption declined nearly seven percentage points to 43.2%. TikTok’s share-of-wallet remained steady at 3% suggesting that some advertisers are succeeding, while others are struggling to come to grips with the platform.

iOS versions that enabled ATT reached mass adoption in June 2021, allowing the report to offer full comparative year-over-year analysis of its impact on mobile app advertisers. The Appsumer Benchmark Report data comes from a longitudinal study that looked at more than 100 North America and European consumer mobile apps with a median spend of $350,000 per month between the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022. Assessments ensured that no single advertiser represented more than 20 percent of the dataset to avoid a single advertiser from dominating or skewing the results.

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