Sep 15th 2020

How iOS 14 Will Affect Ad Networks

In the last two blog posts in our 4-part series on iOS 14, we focused on advertisers and publishers. In this blog, we turn our attention to how these changes will affect ad networks and what Vungle is doing to prepare for these changes.

As outlined in our previous blogs, it is advisable for both advertisers and publishers to prepare for a potential world where SKAdNetwork is the primary attribution allowed by Apple. With this in mind, it’s important that ad networks also do the same in preparing integration of SKAdNetwork.

What an ad network needs to do to support SKAdNetwork

Much of the preparation for technical integration of SKAdNetwork sits with the ad network because it must connect the pieces from ad serving to install receipt to reporting.

This new paradigm of attribution is a full-stack implementation for the ad network and not just a single line of code that is changed. Here are a few of the changes that will impact an ad network’s advertisers and publishers:

  • How advertisers interact with the network’s user interface to manage their campaigns
  • An SKAdNetwork implementation in the SDK that allows publishers to be eligible for attribution
  • Data pipeline updates to properly report on both aggregated and event-level SKAdNetwork data
  • Ad-serving algorithm adaptation to SKAdNetwork level granularity as well as delays in installs
  • Ensuring continuity in accounting related to advertisers and publishers


In short, the transition to Apple’s SKAdNetwork is not something that can be accomplished overnight, but one that needs to be implemented with thoughtful consideration.

What Vungle is doing to prepare for iOS 14

User privacy is an increasing concern in the industry. Vungle takes this seriously and has been preparing for an IDFA-less world for quite some time now by investing in purely context based ad serving. Given our direct SDK footprint, we are able to collect contextual data signals while preserving user privacy. Data privacy and monetization performance is a critical area in which Vungle will continue to invest and stay on the cutting edge.

For iOS 14 specifically, Vungle is preparing for a world where SKAdNetwork may eventually become the primary method for attribution. As such, in the next few weeks, we plan to have initial testing available for early adopting advertisers.

At the same time, we are working closely with our MMPs to identify any feasible solutions outside of SKAdNetwork that will be compliant with Apple’s privacy policy. 

Given that there are a lot of unknowns with Apple policy and some unclear specs to SKAdNetwork, our team is looking to adapt quickly as we understand the new changes that come in September and beyond. 

What we do know is that advertisers, publishers, networks, and MMPs alike will have to work together in the next year to adapt our technologies as well as our economics around advertising and monetization. This could be accomplished in various ways such as new buying models, optimization practices, or new contextual data sources. We will need to identify new standards and new best practices as we enter the brave new world of iOS 14. Challenges such as these are an opportunity for innovation for everyone involved.

In the last blog of this series, we will combine our perspective on the changes that are coming for all participants in the mobile ad tech industry and present our perspective on how this will affect the overall ad tech ecosystem.

See our other blogs in this series:

Rina Matsumoto

Rina Matsumoto

Sr. Product Manager