How Chartboost is enhancing contextual advertising on SKAdNetwork

February 12, 2021
How Chartboost is enhancing contextual advertising on SKAdNetwork

With only a month or so to go before Apple rolls out iOS 14.5 and begins enforcing the App Tracking Transparency Framework, we’d like to provide our latest suggestions on how to get ready for iOS 14.

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 facilitate bidding by our demand partners and the data we’re collecting to enhance contextual advertising on SKAdNetwork.  

How Contextual Data Facilitate Bidding 

The Chartboost’s SDK collects and passes contextual data such as app information, device settings, 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 Provide Enhanced Contextual Advertising

The data Chartboost SDK is gathering for better contextual advertising are all information related to the context in which an app is being used and isn’t tied to a specific user. The contextual data include:

App informationBundle ID
Device systemLanguage ID, operating system version, device model, software developer kit (SDK) version
Device settingsScreen, audio, connectivity, storage, and battery settings and information of devices
Video parametersVideos 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 above contextual data are all listed in our Privacy Policy for transparency to our customers, partners, and end-users. If you’re unsure how the above data fall into Apple’s Privacy Questionnaire, find our help site article here

App Publishers – Get Prepared 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 

The above 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.