Knowledge base

iOS 14 advertiser guide

Preparing for iOS 14

Apple’s iOS 14 release brings key changes to the advertising ecosystem. The iOS 14’s new privacy guidelines will not be fully implemented until early 2021. Please complete the following actions to prepare. They will ensure that your efforts continue with less disruption.

Integrate and test your app with SKAdNetwork

With the ATT (App Tracking Transparency consent) enforcement in early 2021, SKAdNetwork is a new framework introduced by Apple that will become a dominant tool for install attribution.

Unity advises all advertisers to configure their app for SKAd install attribution by calling one of the following methods:

  • registerAppForAdNetworkAttribution() or
  • updateConversionValue(_:)

See how to set the SKAdNetwork conversion value here.

Unity supports SKAdNetwork attribution install postbacks by:

Continue to Optimize Performance with our SDKs

Integrating our SDK helps you to continue to optimize your campaigns. Depending on your situation, you will need to integrate either the latest version of our Ads SDK or our deltaDNA SDK. Specifically, if you advertise and monetize with Unity, update your Ads SDK to the latest version. If you advertise but don’t monetize with Unity, integrate the deltaDNA SDK for additional insights.

Update your Unity Ads SDK

Unity advises that all Unity publishers who advertise and monetize with Unity integrate the latest version of Unity Ads in order to work with ios 14. Apps using older versions of Unity Ads will not be able to accurately report the App Tracking Transparency status to advertisers, which may impact performance.

Find information about the latest Unity Ads SDK here, and information about updating the SDK in the iOS integration guide.

Note: If you are using mediation, the Unity Ads SDK needs to be initialized independently from the mediation process. This will help ensure effective performance for both user acquisition and monetization purposes.

In addition, Unity will request your permission to activate the Unity analytics optimization collection within the Ads SDK. When you allow permission, it lets Unity collect information for postbacks not attributed to the Unity network.

We plan to keep updating our SDKs and any other related items as quickly and effectively as we can, to continue enabling our developers for success. We will continue to be transparent with updates as more is known about iOS14.

If you need further support with updating your Unity Ads SDK:

Integrate your game with the deltaDNA SDK

Unity advises publishers who are only advertising with Unity and not monetizing with Unity to integrate their game with the deltaDNA SDK. deltaDNA is a product in the suite of Unity services used for player engagement and campaign insights.

You can find more information about the deltaDNA SDK and the deltaDNA integration guide here.

The deltaDNA SDK for Unity integration guide also covers many useful topics, including:

If you need further support to integrate your deltaDNA SDK:

Introducing Cost Per Impression billing

In many cases, the introduction of the ATT framework will remove non-aggregated postback data. This means that Unity may be unable to collect certain data that allows us to offer install-based billing.

To ensure a smooth transition for affected campaigns, we will introduce cost per impression billing. This is a billing method where you will be charged based on the number of impressions your campaign receives. This ensures Unity only bills you for events that can be attributed. If we begin receiving aggregated postback data, we may notify you of any changes to your billing. Regardless of the billing method, your campaigns will likely still be optimized for installs.

To learn more about cost per impression billing, visit our FAQ

Set the SKAdNetwork conversion value

With SKAdNetwork postbacks, the primary measure for your campaign performance is the conversion value. This is an integer from 0 to 63.

Assign the conversion value based on the user’s in-game behaviour to evaluate your campaign performance across different ad networks and source apps. There is a 24-hour postback timer that resets with each conversion value update - the longer the tracking window, the more difficult it will be to act swiftly regarding campaign performance.

Most MMPs provide templates and tools for mapping in-game events or revenue to the conversion value. User acquisition with Unity does not require adhering to a specific conversion model, and there is no one-size-fits-all-advertisers solution. However, for advertisers in search of guidance Unity recommends the following best practices.

Conversion values should be incremental

Events associated with each conversion value should be ordered from lowest to highest according to some key metric. For example, if tracking player value, then a player who makes an in-app purchase is usually associated with a higher average value than a player who watches a rewarded ad.

Limit conversion value updates to the 48-hour period after install

The measurement period should be fairly brief, with the last update to conversion value occurring within 48 hours of install. Typically by this time your retention curve is already flattening, and 50-70% of your paying users have made their first purchase. This should be enough time for you to rank ad network and campaign performance, and to identify the most valuable sources.

Simplify

More granular measurement is not necessarily better.

The SKAdNetwork privacy threshold means that source app IDs and conversion values will only be provided when they cannot be used to identify individual users.

This means you must have enough users with each source app ID and conversion value combination in order to receive these two fields in the SKAdNetwork postbacks. Therefore, tracking events that your users are unlikely to perform will be difficult, unless you have very high volumes of installs. Unity recommends that your conversion value mapping tracks relatively common events that split your user base approximately into groupings of the top 10%-20%, the next 20-40%, and so on.

Experiment

As far as SKAdNetwork and Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework are concerned, the industry is still in a transition and learning phase. We believe that the best way forward is to start with something simple and follow an experimental, iterative approach along the following steps:

At first, advertisers will start using the conversion value for reporting, alongside more traditional and granular metrics. Users who give their permission for tracking will provide a reliable benchmark for the conversion value based reporting. With the basics in place, advertisers will experiment to find the best way to set the conversion value to optimize their user acquisition budgets based on user value and return on investment. Ad networks will build on the initial learnings and start using the conversion values to encode source app quality into their automated optimization algorithms.

Baseline recommendation

If you don’t have a preference or you’re unsure about where to start with the conversion value, Unity recommends the following example baseline setup using the conversion value to track the number of sessions within the first 48 hours.

Event Conversion value Session# Share of installs
Install 0 1 33%
Second Session 1 2 23%
Third Session 1 3 13%
Fourth & Fifth session 3 4 and 5 15%
Six+ session 4 6 16%

Notes about this table:

  • Events are within 48 hours of install.
  • At Install, the app calls registerApforAdNetworkAttribution.
  • For the second and additional sessions, the app calls updateConversionValue. Higher numbers of sessions in the first 48 hours are correlated with higher retention and LTV, so this is a good starting point for you to track the quality of installs you are receiving. Of course, you can continue to experiment and build on this to find a conversion value setup that is optimal for you.

SKAdNetwork campaign limits

Unity Ads strongly recommends that you limit the number of iOS campaigns that you run simultaneously for any app to strictly 50 campaigns or fewer, due to the new limitations introduced by Apple’s SKAdNetwork.

Details of the SKAdNetwork campaign ID limits

If an advertiser has more than 50 combinations of iOS campaigns and creative packs live at any time:

  • the reporting based on SKAdNetwork postbacks will become less accurate.
  • the conversion rate predictions on Unity Ads for all campaigns will become less accurate.

Due to new limitations in the SKAdNetwork framework around the removal of country information, advertisers are required to limit their combinations of live campaigns and creative packs to 50 per app. This will help you obtain more accurate SKAdNetwork reporting by supporting the correct association of installs to campaigns and creative packs.

Please see Campaign management best practices for more guidance.

Consolidate the number of Organizations that target a app

Due to the limited number of Campaign IDs in SKAdNetwork, Unity also recommends that you consolidate the Organizations that target any specific app (App Store ID). Ideally, all campaigns for a given target app should be within one Organization, so that you can apply the recommended limit of 50 campaigns per target app and country (see above).

If there are agencies and other third parties who manage campaigns using separate Organization accounts, be sure to inform them that there are only 50 total Campaign IDs available per app.

Reporting and Stats API

We will be expanding our reporting capabilities to support SKAd postback information such as Installs, CPI and Conversion values coming from the SKAdNetwork. These will be available in dashboard reporting and the report builder within the Acquire dashboard.

If you are using our Stats API, refer to our Stats API page to see which fields you will need to update in order to gather additional SKAd postback data.

We're with you on this journey

This is a major change affecting the industry at large, and we are already seeing significant changes from key players in response. Please be assured that Unity is prepared, and committed to meet the needs of our publisher and advertiser communities as a top priority. Unity will provide resources through and beyond Apple’s official release, including monitoring tools that will provide insight into the impact of the new settings.

Please bookmark this and related documents so that you can note updates as they occur. We will also communicate any updates directly as needed.

More information

Still need help? Get in touch!
Last updated on 22nd Oct 2021