Is Apple’s privacy now paying off? 65% surge in iOS app install adspend in six months

One year on since Apple introduced its App Tracking Transparency privacy crackdown, 80% of apps have implemented the ATT prompt and opt-in rates remain consistent.

App install adspend on iOS leapt 65% in the six months to Q1 2022 after a significant slide in Q3 last year, according to new research.

The research found that while adspend was driven up in the last six months by increased costs in media, budgets were still 9% down in Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2021. 


iOS non-organic installs were up 7% year-on-year, but those for Android lifted by 28% – four times as many — over the same period. The data also saw a 3% drop in iOS cost per install (CPI) in Q1 2022 compared to the previous quarter, with CPI stabilising in Q1 after two previous quarters of double-digit jumps.

Mobile analytics and attribution platform AppsFlyer said that the ability to measure non-organic installs on iOS had greatly improved over the past six months due to SKAdNetwork adoption, along with increased confidence among marketers in their ability to measure iOS campaigns.

The report, ATT - One Year On, analysed global trends that displayed the impact of privacy on the mobile marketing space, taking data from:

  • 4.9 billion non-organic iOS app installs;
  • 4.6 thousand iOS apps that have implemented ATT with at least 100 day seven sessions; and 
  • 2.6 thousand iOS apps with at least five thousand installs attributed by SKAdNetwork per quarter.

Early prompts offer most benefit for consent 

 A year on from Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) saw 80% of apps implementing the ATT prompt, with opt-in rates growing consistently. Nearly one in two instances resulted in a user tapping ‘Allow’ among those shown the prompt, meaning that showing the prompt is significantly more beneficial than not doing so.

Opt-in rates stood at an average 46% across all categories of app in March 2022. In the UK, this was slightly lower – at 42% for gaming apps and 41% for non-gaming apps – attributed to greater awareness of data privacy and security among consumers. 

However, consent rates in France were 35% higher than other parts of western Europe, while across developing markets, particularly Southeast Asia, consent rates were 30% up on the average. 

AppsFlyer said its data showed that consent was highest when users launched an app for the first time, with a 30% drop between the first minute and two hours later.

Gal Ekstein, President & GM, EMEA & LATAM AppsFlyer said: “Over the last year, many players in the mobile ecosystem have begun breaking the addiction to user level data, by adopting different measurement methodologies, metrics and technologies. As a result, there’s renewed confidence in iOS, and a shift in mindset that puts privacy front and centre, without compromising on user experience.”

“With further privacy updates planned for iOS 15, and the introduction of similar changes from Google, adopting newly developed privacy-compliant tools, building trust with consumers, and using data to make informed decisions will be key to helping marketers continue to achieve their marketing goals.”