How will Apple's New Privacy Controls Affect Publishers?

Apple's latest software update for iOS and macOS introduced several new features to protect device users' privacy. Find out what was changed and how your business may be affected.

What did Apple change?

Apple announced several new privacy controls for their iOS 15 (iPad and iPhone) and desktop macOS Monterey.  The changes to Apple Mail affect the entire email industry — they are not only impacting brands working with Jeeng.

There were three major changes:

  • Mail Privacy Protection (MPP).  This change will hide the user device, reduce the accuracy of their location and fetch images in the background. (MPP) is an opt-in feature that stops senders from using pixels to track users and collect data about them
  • iCloud+ Private Relay. This change will hide the user device & reduce the accuracy of their location in Safari
  • Hide My Email will allow users to generate a unique email for each newsletter subscription. This change lets users keep their email addresses private by automatically sharing random, anonymous addresses with publishers and brands, making it more difficult to identify users and stitch their identities together

When did these changes take place?

The changes were included in the Sep 20, 2021 update to iOS 15 (iPhone and iPad) and Mac OS Monterey.  As a result of the update, the industry will start to see a shift in engagement metrics, specifically email open rates and ad impressions.

 

What impact should the industry expect to see?

  • Device targeting will no longer be available for a large amount of Apple traffic, as it no longer be possible to distinguish between Apple platforms (desktop, phone, tablet) for Apple Mail users and some Safari users
  • The precision of state-level geo location will be reduced. City and metro-code targeting will have an unknown level of accuracy, although we believe state-level geo location will still be accurate for the majority of users. Country level targeting will continue to be available
  • The open and impressions metrics will be artificially inflated
  • Ads will be cached in Apple Mail for 2-3 days, meaning that they will no longer dynamically refresh

 

What Publishers are affected and what should they expect?

  • Any publisher who has traffic driven from Apple users is impacted, including Google Ad Manager publishers running CPM campaigns
  • Publishers will no longer have the ability to do device-level targeting as it is no longer possible to distinguish between Apple platforms (desktop, phone, tablet) for Apple Mail users 
  • Expect an increase in open rate to reach 75% of the send metric
  • Email open numbers will be artificially inflated, impacting the Opens, Impressions, CTR and RPM metrics

What is NOT impacted for Publishers?

  • Apple News traffic
  • Android traffic
  • A large amount of desktop traffic

 

How is the public who own Apple devices or use Safari with an iCloud subscription affected?

End users will be able to enable these new privacy settings to block their device information, exact location and email address from being known and collected.

 

What are the next steps that Jeeng is recommending for Publishers?

  • Anticipate an increase in open rate to reach 75% of the send metric, meaning that the open numbers will be artificially inflated, impacting the calculated CTR & RPM numbers
  • Consider segmenting Apple Proxy traffic and adjusting the CPM value accordingly to account for the 75% open rate. Inflated impressions counts will impact the ability to command high CPM prices
  • Ensure that you are implementing with SendID to ensure that ads are not cached between sends