Enhancing Contextual Advertising on SKAdNetwork


February 25, 2021


min read

Since Apple's announcement last summer, we've been all hands on deck developing solutions to ensure optimal ad monetization for our app developers. First and foremost, we released the Chartboost iOS SDK 8.3+ in September that supports iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork. From this iOS SDK version and on, we collect additional contextual data like device settings to further enhance contextual advertising. Contextual data will be essential for mobile advertising on iOS 14 when IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) isn't available.

Before the emergence of programmatic advertising, where IDFA enables behavioral targeting, contextual targeting was the way to do in-app advertising. With programmatic advertising, many buyers and DSPs combine IDFA with contextual data in their machine learning models to find valuable users. But with IDFA being less available on iOS 14, the industry will simply have to switch back to perfecting mobile advertising through contextual targeting again.

Now, let's dive into how contextual data facilitates bidding by our demand partners and the data we are collecting to enhance contextual advertising on SKAdNetwork.

How contextual data facilitates bidding

The Chartboosts SDK collects and passes contextual data such as app information, device settings, and video parameters via the ad request through the Chartboost Exchange to our demand partners and DSPs. From there, they decide whether to use the data sent in the bid requests in their algorithms and machine learning models to inform their buying decision for ad placements on a specific device.

With IDFA being less available, demand partners and DSPs will rely on the contextual data to build their machine learning capabilities to deliver the right mobile ad to the right device or predicted users.

The data that provides enhanced contextual advertising

The data Chartboost SDK gathers for better contextual advertising is related to the context in which an app is used but isn't tied to a specific user. Contextual data includes:

  • App information
  • Bundle ID
  • Device system
  • Language ID, operating system version, device model, software developer kit (SDK) version
  • Device settings
  • Screen, audio, connectivity, storage, and battery settings and information of devices
  • Video parameters
  • Videos and video playback such as start/boot-up information, amount played/session length information, memory on device used for our video cache, videos cached on a device, and complete view event.

The contextual data above is listed in our Privacy Policy for transparency for our customers, partners, and end users. If you're unsure how this data falls into Apple's Privacy Questionnaire, check out this help site article.

Publishers: Prepare for iOS 14

According to the analytics company Mixpanel, about 87% of Apple's 534 billion devices have already upgraded to iOS 14. Now is a critical time for app publishers to ensure that their inventory is SKAdNetwork compatible and optimized for contextual advertising on iOS 14.To safeguard ad monetization with Chartboost on iOS 14, app publishers must:

  1. Update to the most recent Chartboost iOS SDK 8.4+  Supported by Helium and leading mediation partners
  2. Update or add our complete list of SKAdNetwork IDs to your apps Info.plist

These two steps are critical to enabling contextual advertising on SKAdNetwork for our demand partners and buyers so they can continue to find valuable users on iOS 14 without interruption.

Download our full checklist for publishers to get prepared for iOS 14 here!

This post is also part of noidfanoproblem.com, an educational resource hub to help publishers and marketers to navigate the privacy changes coming on Apple. Check it out!