Apple's SKAdNetwork Explained 

With the ever growing talk of user privacy and advertising compliance, chances are you’ve heard about Apple’s SKAdNetwork.  This is Apple’s solution to provide publishers with the tools necessary to track app installs and conversions in a privacy-compliant way. They believe that implementing their SKAdNetwork will become increasingly beneficial for any ad network wanting to work with app owners who are looking to advertise their apps and gain more installs, safely and complaintly. As Apple just released their SKAdNetwork 4 this past week, along with their iOS16.1 rollout, here is a breakdown of what we believe you should know.

Did you know that non-compliant companies averaged a loss of more than $5.1M in revenue in 2020 alone. Compliance not only saves brands from paying financially, but it also drives invaluable customer trust.

What is SKAdNetwork? 

First introduced by Apple back in 2018, the SKAdNetwork API is a type of direct install attribution: it helps advertisers measure the success of ad campaigns while maintaining user privacy.  It was developed to provide privacy-preserving, accurate attribution for iOS campaigns to advertisers without revealing any user-level or device-specific data.

How does it work?

When an ad is clicked and the store is opened, the publishing app and the network provide it with basic information (i.e. network, publisher, and campaign ID). The App Store will then send a notification of successful conversion to the network. It will report the attached values alongside a conversion value that can be reported by the advertised app. The API involves three participants:

  1. Ad networks that sign ads and receive install-validation postbacks after ads result in conversions
  2. Source apps that display ads from the ad networks, or websites that display the ads in Safari
  3. Advertised apps that update conversion values as people engage with the app

Ad networks register with Apple to get an ad network ID and to use the API. Developers configure their apps to accept attributable ads from ad networks, and to receive copies of winning postbacks. For information about setup, see Registering an ad network, Configuring a source app, and Configuring an advertised app.

Why is this important for Kidoz and our partners?

  • Advertisers are losing their 'traditional' access to kids (the traditional TV model): children now make up more than 30% of all internet users and 40% of all new users - and this makes them a critical demographic for advertisers. This has left advertisers wondering how they will be able to reach children effectively and safely in the mobile space. 
  • As the ad industry continues to move to a more privacy-centric reality, the ability to measure, attribute, and optimize will continue to change and improve. 
  • Kid focused advertising systems are completely different from the standard systems (due to the privacy regulations), mainly C.O.P.P.A. (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act).
  • The difference with Kidoz is that we do not profile, or re-market, and do not use PIII’s.
  • Many publishers are currently immobilized by fear and can miss out on the plethora of opportunities in this space, if they do not start adopting these measures.
  • Advertisers also worry that their ad will be shown on irrelevant apps or channels , and that may hurt their brand perception, so working with certified networks and attribution systems saves advertisers from these worries.
"SKAdNetwork might just be the best thing that's happened to kids' apps Now," our President Eldad Ben Tora says, "marketers can actually do user acquisition at scale for kids' apps. And publishers can monetize safely via ads."

Next Steps:

To ensure advertisers and ad networks can still show high paying ads in your apps with the SkAdNetwork rollout:

  • Upgrade to the latest Kidoz SDK 
  • Add SkAdNetwork ID of your ad networks into your plist (click here for all the documentation on how and why)
  • The rest will be taken care of by your SDK provider - that’s it! There is nothing more required on your end!
  • Rest assured, it is all safe and privacy compliant even for the kids' apps (for more info, see our Safe-Ads Policies).

Want to learn more? Connect with our Head of Publishers, Noam Hahn at noam@kidoz.net