💎 Growth Gems #51 - Apple's Conundrum, Paid UA and Product

Hi there,

This week I’m sharing gems on playables, Apple Search Ads and the hot “Apple’s Conundrum” topic from experts like Thomas Petit, Ben Thompson and John Wright.


🥇 TOP GEM OF THE WEEK

💎 An ideal solution would be for Apple to make possible what’s possible right now on Android (and that Android is trying to change): if you’re a game, you use IAP. If you’re not, you can use a webview. In the Android Kindle app there is a tab that says “store” that loads a webview. Same thing for Spotify and Tinder.

by Ben Thompson (Founder of Stratechery)
at 51:40 in Ben Thompson, Stratechery - Apple’s App Store Conundrum


⛏️ Going Deeper:
I somehow had no idea that Spotify and others were already doing this on Android! And I wonder how quickly Google is planning on changing this…For all 15 gems
💎 from the discussion with Ben, check out this Twitter thread. He also wrote an enlightening article on The Apple v. Epic Decision.
Apple allowing a webview is still unlikely, but Here's How You Capitalize From the Apple vs. Epic Court Ruling (with Eric Seufert and Chris Hewish).



Paid UA: the right events, segmenting by value, Apple Search Ads

💎 For advertisers to be successful, the single most important thing is to make sure that the events are set up right and the signal postback is correct. Purchase is typically the #1 event and then you have proxy signals. A lot of advertisers that are struggling are sending too many signals back to Facebook, which prevents them from acquiring high-value users.

by Athar Zia (CEO of BLKBOX.ai)
at 14:23 in Leveraging AI to Automate Mobile Media Buying


💎 With only 9 campaigns and 5 ad sets per campaign on iOS, you really need to think about your strategy. Start segmenting your campaigns based on value. You can’t have ad sets with different audiences into a single campaign anymore (lookalike, value-based, interest, etc.), because you won’t be able to know what performs.

by Athar Zia (CEO of BLKBOX.ai)
at 15:08 in Leveraging AI to Automate Mobile Media Buying


💎 Apple Search Ads’ AdServices attribution doesn’t depend on the IDFA but more importantly doesn’t depend on the ATT consent status, which means ASA needs to be handled slightly differently than other UA channels.

by Thomas Petit (Growth Consultant)
at 05:30 in How to win with Apple Search Ads in a post-ATT world


⛏️ Going Deeper: here is Apple’s AdServices framework documentation. Most MMPs also have their own documentation on how to implement it.


💎 The payload when a user is coming from one of your ASA campaigns is pretty granular: you can get keyword-level data and you can get retention as well as other post-install metrics.

by Thomas Petit (Growth Consultant)
at 10:30 in How to win with Apple Search Ads in a post-ATT world


💎 Thomas still likes to have ad groups (regardless of how they group keywords - meaning, LTV, etc.) “duplicated” so that he ends up with 3 ad groups targeting New Users LAT Off, Returning Users LAT off and All Users. It’s a more complex structure (and there is some audience overlap), but the conversion/ARPU/retention performance can be entirely different depending on the targeting. It also helps if/when deciding from where to pull back spend.

by Thomas Petit (Growth Consultant)
at 17:28 in How to win with Apple Search Ads in a post-ATT world


Apple’s App Store conundrum

💎 Apple’s culture, thinking and decisions have been guided by never facing again the challenges they had in the 90’s. They never want to have people on their platforms (developers) be more important than they are. Apple wants lock-in on iOS to come from Apple, not from any other company (Microsoft, Adobe, or a future developer). 

by Ben Thompson (Founder of Stratechery)
at 27:00 in Ben Thompson, Stratechery - Apple’s App Store Conundrum


💎 Apple’s power is still underrated. People get upset about the 30%, but those kinds of things are sideshows. The reality is that we still don’t know what the best business models and the best ways to monetize apps are, because it’s never been tried. 

by Ben Thompson (Founder of Stratechery)
at 39:09 in Ben Thompson, Stratechery - Apple’s App Store Conundrum


💎 An ideal solution would be for Apple to make possible what’s possible right now on Android (and that Android is trying to change): if you’re a game, you use IAP. If you’re not, you can use a webview. In the Kindle app there is a tab that says “store” that loads a webview. Same thing for Spotify and Tinder.

by Ben Thompson (Founder of Stratechery)
at 51:40 in Ben Thompson, Stratechery - Apple’s App Store Conundrum


💎 The App Store transformed developer economics by increasing the market size beyond what anyone thought was possible. They did it by generating trust in consumers. In a wide open marketplace, that trust will probably be lost. If Apple doesn’t anticipate, regulations are going to be a sledge hammer not a scalpel.

by Ben Thompson (Founder of Stratechery)
at 1:23:57 in Ben Thompson, Stratechery - Apple’s App Store Conundrum


⛏️ Going Deeper:
the episode was recorded before the now famous injunction from the Epic vs. Apple ruling, but the ball is still in Apple’s court so they still have big choices to make: get ahead of regulations, or train to maintain as much control as possible. Also, plug #2 to check out this Twitter thread for all 15 gems
💎 from the discussion with Ben.


Product: leveraging playables

💎 Because playables are a coded experience, you can program and see custom events (e.g. user engaged, shot a gun, defeated the boss, won or lost the level, etc.). You can then leverage these events to optimize the post-install experience and increase conversions.

by John Wright (Head Of Operations at Luna Labs - an ironSource Company)
at 09:45 in The One Where They Talk Creative

⛏️ Going Deeper: as Piyush mentioned, keep in mind that what the playable tells you is that the game engages users, but there is much more complexity once in the game and behaviors might be different. Another resource you might like: The Gamesforum Playable Ads Masterclass.


💎 Some of the big match 3 and puzzle games have been successful at using playables as a sandbox to test new types of game mechanics, take engagement insights from these and embed the experience into the actual games(e.g. through mini-games, through Live Ops games, etc.).

by John Wright (Head Of Operations at Luna Labs - an ironSource Company)
at 27:44 in The One Where They Talk Creative




And before I leave, something to keep in mind as the Apple thriller continues:

“The discussion online is flawed, because a lot of people have Apple stocks.” - Ben Thompson



See you next time. Stay savvy!

⛏️ Sylvain