Study: Apple's UDID restrictions cost developers 24% revenue

MoPub, a mobile ad server, has conducted a study in which it found that apps that have been rejected due to Apple's new UDID restrictions have cost developers 24 percent in revenue.

Joe Aimonetti MacFixIt Editor
Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.
Joe Aimonetti
2 min read

Privacy concerns have been at the top of many tech industry reports lately. Between Apple's Flashback Trojan issues, Google's faux pas with Safari privacy settings, and a myriad of other privacy-related stories, consumers, lawmakers, and the media have been pressing for greater privacy restrictions.

Partly in response to a Congressional inquiry, Apple has begun restricting access to consumers' UDID numbers, a unique identifier that individually accounts for all iOS devices Apple sells.

Ad servers, like MoPub, have been using UDIDs to serve particular ads to targeting demographics for years. Now that Apple has begun rejecting apps that continue to use UDID data, MoPub (via AppleInsider) is reporting that developers are losing out on valuable revenue.

The UDID number can tell developers more about their customers and tell ad servers how successful ads are. Metrics like click-through rates and download conversions are important numbers for developers and advertisers seeking to make money from iOS device users.

MoPub CEO and co-founder Jim Payne believes the onus is on Apple to come up with a suitable alternative to the lucrative tracking capabilities the UDID number offered.

"Here, we see a direct correlation between the money paid for an ad and the ability to track an ad. It's clear that Apple needs to address this issue with an appropriate alternative, because the damage to a publisher's bottom line will likely be material if UDID data actually disappears."

If the damage is, in fact, 24 percent as MoPub's study suggests, Apple could be facing a bit of a developer backlash. According to MoPub, the effective cost per mille (eCPM) average disparity is 18 cents, with apps that have UDID access making $0.76, while apps that do not have UDID access are making only 58 cents.

Given these numbers, should Apple create a way for developers and mobile advertisers to track sales and conversions, or should developers have to come up with their own solutions? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!