3 Things Affiliate Marketers Should Know about the Apple iOS 14 Update

Apple announced earlier this year that they would be requiring app developers to provide information about their data collection practices.

With the upcoming iOS 14 release in September, Apple is also requiring that apps ask their users for their explicit consent to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies.

Here are three things you should know about this new update and how it might impact your affiliate app campaigns.

IDFA access will require user consent.

IDFA – Apple’s device ID used for targeting – will only be available to app developers after the user consents to being tracked. 3 Things Affiliate Marketers Should Know about the Apple iOS 14 UpdateWhile Rakuten Advertising doesn’t use the IDFA to track app conversions, many of the 3rd party MMPs (mobile measurement platforms) that advertisers use will need to become compliant to continue tracking. MMPs will need to move away from using IDFA, beef up their fingerprinting process or move to using IDFV – an identifier assigned to an app vendor that can be used across all apps the app vendor manages.

The bulk of the impact is not to “mobile web to app,” but to “app to app.”

The majority of Rakuten Advertising app tracking use cases are primarily mobile web to app, and hence we believe the impact will be minimal.

Impact would mainly be to:

  • App-to-app where the source app passes IDFA as part of the link. The 3rd party uses IDFA to tie the click to the eventual action in the target app, or
  • Where post event data processing leverages IDFA

MMPs enabled for Rakuten Advertising are aware of this and are working on solutions.

Given that MMPs – like Branch, Adjust, Appsflyer, Kochava – have to be compliant to stay in business, rest assured that they are working on a solution (or already have one). We recommend you reach out to your MMP and learn what they will be doing differently going forward. Since the implications go beyond affiliate, make sure other marketing channels are aware of the upcoming changes, especially if they use IDFA in their audience targeting.

Do you have in-app tracking enabled?

If you are an advertiser with an app and haven’t enabled in-app tracking for your affiliate program yet, please reach out to to get started.

Ivan Pena is a Senior Director on the Rakuten Advertising Product Adoption team. He focuses on providing global publisher teams the information, training and support they need to help publishers understand the Rakuten Advertising product roadmap and how it impacts them. He has been with Rakuten Advertising since 2013 and is based in Tampa, Florida.

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