Category posts
Market and research

Author:
Editorial
Getting rid of IDFA, GAID and cookies. The imminent future of ad systems

GoPractice spoke with Andrey Novoselsky, the head of advertising at VK (the biggest social network in Russia) from 2014 to 2021.

Andrey told us:

  • How the advertising systems work and why it is important to maintain the balance between three parties: users, advertisers, and the ad platform.
  • How UAC-like campaigns will affect the interests of these parties;
  • What will be the future of advertising without IDFA, GAID, and cookies; and what marketers and advertisers should prepare for in the future.

For the convenience of our readers, we are presenting our conversation with Andrey in Q&A format.

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Getting rid of IDFA, GAID and cookies. The imminent future of ad systems
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Author:
Editorial
iOS 14 & IDFA & attribution: a global change in the mobile advertising market

The mobile industry is undergoing one of the most fundamental changes of recent years. Apple has decided that early 2021, app developers will no longer have access to IDFA by default.

IDFA is a unique device identifier used for ad attribution, retargeting, alike audiences, analytics and other tasks. After the change, in order to receive the IDFA, an app developer must explicitly request the user’s permission (which is similar to allowing push notifications in an app). According to various estimates, the share of users who will provide access to their IDFA doesn’t exceed 10%.

Apple has provided privacy-friendly alternatives for attribution, but they fail to cover even a small fraction of the tasks that teams working on developing and promoting mobile apps currently have.

This shift means that mobile marketing (estimated at $80 billion), and by extension the mobile industry, are about to change drastically. In this essay, we will discuss in detail what will change, how it will affect the main players in the mobile advertising market such as developers, ad systems, attribution service providers, and advertisers.

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iOS 14 & IDFA & attribution: a global change in the mobile advertising market
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Author:
Oleg Ya
This little-noticed change in iOS 13 can put an end to Calm’s 1B valuation and make the App Store better

 “You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.”
― Warren Buffett

The last few years were big for non-gaming subscription-based apps in the Apple App Store. During this period, lots of simple apps started making millions of dollars per month.

For example, Celebrity Voice Changer makes over $3M per month and raked in almost $30M in the past few years. QR Code Reader by Tinylab made over $800K last month and over $13M over the last few years. An app called Life Advisor generated over $1M in revenue in the last month alone.

Some of the companies developing pretty basic apps have even become unicorns. In February, Calm raised $88M in funding at a $1B valuation. The maker of Facetune app raised $135M at a unicorn valuation In July.

But how do they do this?

These apps aren’t powered by any innovative technology; they don’t have network effects; and they are pretty easy to copy. So what is their secret sauce? Subscriptions. To be more specific, the obscure way that subscriptions used to work in iOS.

I said “used to work” because Apple made a small change to subscriptions in iOS 13, the latest version of its mobile operating system. This change went unnoticed by media outlets covering iOS 13’s release, but I believe it will have a profound impact on the mobile apps ecosystem in the Apple App Store.

In this article I will use revenue and downloads estimates provided by Datamagic to explain why I believe the following will happen after Apple’s new adjustment to iOS app subscriptions:

  • The revenue of Calm and Facetune on iOS will drop by a factor of 2-4, and they won’t be able to justify 1B valuation.
  • Lots of sneaky subscription apps will first stop growing, and then disappear altogether from the App Store over time.

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Calm's iOS revenue forecast
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Author:
Oleg Ya
How to estimate the revenue, downloads and audience of a competitor’s app?

All of us are curious about how many downloads a competitor’s app has, how it acquires users, how much audience it has, and, of course, how much it earns.

Finding out about the performance of a competitor’s app is both useful and interesting. Today I will talk about the tools that will help you do this.

As a bonus, at the end of the article, we will verify if Telegram’s MAU is actually 200M active users as it claims.

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

How to estimate the revenue, downloads and audience of a competitor’s app?
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Author:
Oleg Ya
Reading between the lines: what Slack didn’t disclose in its IPO filing

Slack Technologies, the developer of the popular namesake team collaboration messaging app, recently applied for a public offering on the stock market. This is not a classic IPO, but a “direct listing,” also known a “direct public offering.” This means Slack is not raising money by directly selling shares and instead allows early investors and employees to sell their shares in the public offering. Music streaming service Spotify held a successful direct listing last year.

This story caught my attention for a simple reason. In August 2016, I joined the team developing a still-undercover product called Workplace by Facebook—a direct competitor to Slack. I worked on the product for 2.5 years. Back then, I dreamed of having an opportunity to look inside Slack’s business metrics.

It may seem that Slack has revealed a lot of data about the business in their S-1 filing, a document that is almost 200 pages in length.

The reality is, they haven’t. The company had already disclosed in various ways much of the information compiled in their report.

But if we combine the data disclosed in S-1 filing and the experience I gained while working on Slack’s competitor, we’ll be able to uncover interesting details that will paint a more holistic picture.

I must say that this article contains my personal thoughts on the matter, jotted down while going through their S-1 filing, and should not be considered as investment advice.

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Reading between the lines: what Slack didn't disclose in its IPO filing
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