Webinar Recap: Vungle on All Things App Tracking Transparency, SKAdNetwork, and ConversionValue

By Scott Reyburn | April 30, 2021

Mobile marketers, the day has finally come.

After nearly a year of painstakingly going through the five stages of grief, mobile marketers finally reached the release day of iOS 14.5 on April 26 and the ushering in of the new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) era of mobile marketing.

Though it’s never too late for you to soak in all the information you can about all things ATT, SKAdNetwork, ConversionValue schema and privacy threshold, and more. The release of iOS 14.5 is just the beginning of this new era of mobile marketing. From here, the mobile app ecosystem will only continue to learn more about the era of ATT, adapting to new discoveries accordingly.

In a webinar about ATT enforcement readiness and SKAdNetwork setup and campaign testing with Rovio and Singular last month, Vungle’s Sr. Product Manager Rina Matsumoto details the role ad platforms like Vungle play in the ATT era of mobile marketing. And Rina offers a unique peek behind the curtain at Vungle, sharing how we have been preparing for this new era ever since Apple’s infamous ATT framework reveal at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020.

Let’s dive in.

On Vungle’s initial strategic thinking post-WWDC 2020 ATT framework reveal

“We immediately went straight to work to tackle this challenge. And the first thing was to really study the heck out of SKAdNetwork. We studied all the documentation, talked to everybody in the industry, [and] Singular helped set up the industry Slack channel, which helped as well. And very quickly we knew that almost everything in our system needed to be re-engineered. Everything from how our customers set up campaigns on our UI, to our publisher SDKs, [and] to our algorithms, would need to be adapted.

“So our first priority, really, last summer was to build out the pipeline so we can immediately start testing and see really what the new reality would look like firsthand.”

On Vungle’s goals and objectives post-WWDC 2020 to prepare the platform for SKAdNetwork

“One of the biggest challenges that comes with SKAdNetwork is the data granularity. And historically, we’re used to being able to tie an install postback to the original ad impression, and that informs where we should serve an ad. It informs us what contextual signals help a user convert for an advertiser. It helps us build our optimization tools as well.

“And so in terms of objectives, we wanted to understand the reliability of source app ID and ConversionValue. What kind of optimization levers are still possible with those parameters? And we also wanted to gain learnings on how we can adapt our models to still maintain and improve our performance for our advertisers and publishers.”

On working with Singular, Rovio, and others to help prevent ad fraud on SKAdNetwork

“Transparency and trust is extremely important for us at Vungle. And this is something that we spent time thinking about with a new paradigm shift. For the first time, the network is handling the install postbacks. And what advertiser would feel comfortable with that, right?

“And so we worked really closely with Singular on this [307 redirect] project, actually, to implement a solution where when Vungle gets the SKAdNetwork postback from Apple, we actually send a 307 redirect back to them. And at that point, [Apple] will send a temporary redirect to the MMP’s endpoint. So this ensures that the original device would send the exact same payload to the network and then also to the MMP endpoint, Singular. And so there’s no way the network, us as Vungle, would be able to manipulate the data in any way. And advertisers can trust the authenticity in the postbacks.”

On ConversionValue privacy threshold and source app ID impacting performance measurement

“I really think the privacy threshold is an important part in understanding the ConversionValue because whatever ConversionValue model an advertiser inputs, we will only get a partial picture of it. And so relying solely on the ConversionValue as part of performance measurement, I don’t think is realistic.

“The other challenge is that we don’t know what the privacy threshold is. And Apple has not provided explicit documentation on what it is. Right now from our customers testing on our network with scaled campaigns, we see customers ranging from 80% of their postbacks having the ConversionValue and source app ID to as little as 10% of their postbacks. And so there’s a wide range there. We think it’s dependent on publisher density, but there’s still more testing to be done. We’ve also seen really strange results where a customer who’s just started testing with us, on their third postback saw a source app ID come in. And so it clearly requires a lot more investigation and we’ll certainly share more once we do.”

On how Vungle enables mobile marketers to optimize SKAdNetwork campaigns

“So we’re keeping much of our existing optimization levers. So that includes targeting and budgeting. That will all still be there. Obviously, we still have more work to do in discovery around source app ID and ConversionValue because we want to be able to use those as part of the optimization levers.”

On the percentage of SKAdNetwork-ready supply on Vungle’s platform

“In terms of coverage, right now, we see almost 90% of our publisher inventory using our SKAdNetwork-compatible SDK. And we want to get closer to 100%, obviously. We’re also working really hard to support any new SKAdNetwork features that come up. And right now we’re ready to support SKAdNetwork 2.2, which includes view-through attribution whenever iOS 14.5 comes out (iOS 14.5 released on April 26, 2021).”

On Vungle’s main focus leading up to the release of iOS 14.5

“So the main thing is going to be around optimization levers. We’re working on an integration with Singular on understanding ConversionValue better because we want to use that for optimization. We also want to build other tools to help our advertisers succeed with the data granularity loss. That includes our integrations with GameRefinery. We want to build out contextual targeting and creative analytics to support our advertisers when we lose a lot of that data in SKAdNetwork.

On what mobile marketers can do to prepare for the ATT era of mobile marketing

My biggest thing is definitely to stop waiting for someday. Start testing today. Getting that live SKAdNetwork data is extremely valuable instead of working in the theoretical in what the data might look like. And the other point is to work closely with your advertising channels. You’ve heard about Facebook today, and Vungle is doing things slightly different. And so it’s really important to work closely with each of your partners to see how you’ll be buying and optimizing when you’re running on SKAdNetwork.