Changes to Apple IDFA and IP-based games shaping mobile app market 2021

Anne Freer | January 19, 2021

App Business

Mobile marketing could see some huge changes in 2021 in light of Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA) removal. According to game market insights experts Newzoo, the removal will affect all mobile genres from casual to core.

More traditional forms of advertising including offline channels could see a bit of a boost as a consequence.

“Above all, we foresee a more aggressive approach to FTUE (First Time User Experience) and early user flow optimization. Optimal user-registration funnels and onboarding processes will be paramount, as iOS 14’s new advertising framework (SKAdNetwork) contains complex mechanisms that will drive developers to maximize high-value event signals within the first few game sessions,” Newzoo’s Tianyi Gu wrote in a blog post.

Other trends that are shaping 2021 include the roll-out of 5G. Around 16% of active smartphones are 5G-ready by up from 5% in 2020. By 2023, that figure is expected to have reached 43%.

With the launch of Apple’s App Store Small Business Program, which cuts revenues from 30% to 15% for app developers earning less than $1 million from their apps per annum, smaller developers stand a better chance.

But larger publishers have long been embittered with the 30% revenue cut and there could be a shift toward third-party app stores away from the big two (Google and Apple).

This won’t result in any extreme measures in 2021, but in the long-term it could affect a growing number of developers.

Lastly, Newzoo expects that IP-based licensed games will continue to grow.

There are some 230 entertainment IP games available on app stores right now and over 900 IP-based games on all platforms.

Eight among the top 20 grossing iOS games in 2020 were based on non-gaming entertainment IP.

“IP recognition provides a strong organic pathway to user acquisition, which will become even more important in a post-IDFA world, thus motivating publishers to seek out these types of advantages. ”

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