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Apple, Attribution, & InnovidXP: How Innovid is Responding to Recent Privacy Enhancements

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Unless you've been living off the grid for the last couple of years (and I can't say I blame you), you've likely heard more than your fair share of buzz around Apple’s privacy stance. Presented in gorgeously told and produced video spots, Apple seeks to put the consumer directly in charge of what they share, and with whom. Whether you like its approach to consumer privacy or take a more negative stance on its strategy, there’s no debate that it’s caused a massive shakeup in the attribution industry. 

First, a Little Background

Since 2015, Apple has been rolling out features to block cookies and other signals used by advertisers to track performance and optimize targeting strategies. No matter your stance, the changes have put a damper on deterministic data hardliners – forcing them to reconsider other approaches. And as industry-wide changes from Apple and other players continue to chip away at the availability of data, we’ve started to see “old reliables,” like media mix modeling, come back in vogue. You could say everything old is new again. But for what it’s worth, I believe this may be a healthy reset. Going too deep into perfect often comes at the cost of good. 

Apple's Recent Privacy Enhancements Explained

The most recent enhancement includes Apple iCloud Private Relay and other methods that block the industry’s ability to track conversions happening on Safari browsers across desktop/laptops and mobile devices. Specifically, iCloud Privacy Relay forces IP addresses through two separate, secure internet relays, condensing many different web visitors into fewer Apple-defined IP addresses, which in turn impedes the reliability of using an IP address as a proxy for identifying a single household. These changes directly impact the accuracy of advertisers' attribution results by reducing the number of site visits and conversions that can be tied to an ad impression. 

Put simply, advertisers can no longer execute a direct link between you seeing an ad and then going to a website on Safari. Bummer for those of us who hate seeing ads for things we already bought, but I digress.

Signal Depreciation Is Here To Stay

The reality is, these latest changes aren’t the end of the road. There is absolutely no doubt that privacy will continue to be an evolving topic, both within our day-to-day consumer lives and within the technology and media ecosystems. And, as companies like Apple and others implement new privacy features, we will see such data loss impact the attribution approach and accuracy of every player within the measurement ecosystem.

How InnovidXP is Evolving its Attribution Approach 

So, how is Innovid adapting to this new reality? Over the past two quarters, our team has been closely monitoring the rolling impact these changes have had across markets, advertisers, and partners, and proactively planning enhancements to account for IP obfuscation. In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out new methodology enhancements that reduce the dependency on IPs and apply new modeling techniques that account for drop-off. Specifically, we will use a 1st party cookie placed by our web tag as our new primary identifier, allowing different users bundled into the same IP to be more readily separated. Impacted clients can expect a proactive alert via email as to the improvements they will see in their results. Our goal is to have all clients transitioned to the new methodology by the end of Q2’23. 

We know the mere mention of a methodology change can have some people scrambling, but it is our firm belief that this change is 100% necessary to ensure the continued accuracy of our attribution reporting. The reality is, protecting consumer privacy is paramount, and we can’t let perfect come at the cost of good. 

If you’re interested in learning more about InnovidXP measurement, head on over to innovid.com/solutions/advertising-measurement/.