What Beeswax is Doing in Response to iOS14’s IDFA Advertising Changes

Published on September 08, 2020

Mike Munley

You’ve heard the big news: Apple has announced that, upon a user’s upgrading to iOS 14, apps must ask for permission to access IDFA for advertising. So what does it mean for you?

Here’s what’s changing with IDFA:

  • An app “nutrition label” will be surfaced by the app explaining what data is used and asking the user to allow tracking or to ask the app not to track. 
  • A Safari Ghostery-like feature will exist allowing users to see all the trackers on a webpage
  • Users can provide less granular location data to apps, instead of choosing between no access and precise lat/long
  • In order for IDFA to be used for attribution of app installs, both the app an ad appears on and the app the user then installs must have permission to track.

If a user opts not to allow tracking, advertising attribution, frequency capping, and targeting will all be greatly affected. Based on previous upgrade cycles, these changes are likely to get adopted quickly in Fall 2020 with iOS 14 on over 50% of devices by November.

To address the gaps created by this upcoming change, we at Beeswax have already invested heavily in flexible IDs via the following features:

…and we are sprinting ahead with additional work to help customers this quarter and next with enhancements to:

  • Attribution including SKAdNetwork Support
  • Frequency capping
  • Reporting
  • Targeting


Apple has created SKAdnetwork to allow advertisers to get some understanding of which campaigns are driving conversions. SKAdNetwork is only applicable to mobile app install campaigns on iOS and is only applicable on iOS 14+. Apple shares the following information on the postback conversion:

  • SKAdNetwork Campaign ID (integer between 1-100)
    • Beeswax has a range of 1-100 IDs per advertised app bundle 
  • The publisher app (if it meets Apple’s privacy threshold)
  • Conversion Value (if specified). Customers can update conversion value several times in a rolling 24 hour window
    • Beeswax will only receive the conversion postback 1-24 hours after the last conversion value update

Attribution is on clicks only. No view-through attribution will occur. Apple does not send the IDFA (regardless of whether or not the user has opted into sharing it) or any other information we can use to tie a conversion back to an impression or user. Apple has a random timer that delays the post back so that timestamps can’t be used for attribution.

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To track SKAdnetwork conversions on iOS14, customers should:

  • Enable the Advertiser in Buzz to be “SKAdNetwork enabled” and provide the app bundle 
  • Determine at the Campaign/Line Item level if you want to disable SKAdNetwork conversion tracking
  • Determine if you want to track SKAdNetwork conversions at either (1) the Line Item level or (2) The Creative-Line Item association level 

To track SKAdNetwork conversions on iOS 14, Beeswax will:

  • Generate the SKAdNetwork Campaign ID (1-100)
  • Sign SKAdNetwork enabled impressions and pass the signature to SSPs
  • Receive the postback conversion from Apple and verify it’s from Apple
  • Attribute conversion back to SKAdNetwork Campaign ID (integer 1-100) that Beeswax generates
  • Deliver to customers SKAdNetwork conversion data with the limited fields we have
    • Attributed Conversion raw logs
    • Conversion Report in Report Builder/Query Tool

We also are working closely with each of the leading MMPs–Adjust, Appsflyer, Branch, Kochava, and Singular–to send them the postbacks that we receive.

We are also considering using IP address when IDFA is not available when our conversion tags are being used directly in-app.

Frequency Capping

We launched the option to fall back to IP address a few months ago, which helps whenever a user ID is not present including for other use cases like CTV. To have this enabled, contact your Customer Success Manager.

We also are planning to ingest IDFV as a fallback. Many exchanges are considering passing this through, and it will help to prevent too many impressions from the same campaign being served to the same person on the same app. It’s not a perfect solution, but every little bit helps!


To ensure customers know how much of their media is spent against users that do not wish to be tracked, we will be adding the following reporting dimensions:

  • Impressions without identity
  • Clicks without identity
  • All spend fields without identity

As mentioned above, SKAdNetwork Conversions will also be added to Reporting and relevant logs.

Targeting and Optimization

While there will be no silver bullet to replace IDFA for targeting, we have already:

To additionally support optimization of performance campaigns, we will be adding session depth from exchanges that provide it as a signal. 

To address scenarios where a user ID may not be present, we will also be introducing “Segment OR” capability, which will allow you on the same line item to target users in desired segments OR inventory that meets your needs. Right now, this use case requires separate line items, which can be inefficient from a budgeting standpoint.

We are also considering:

  • Offering the ability to create IP-based segments when IDFA is not available
  • Adding other fields from the exchange such as SDK version
  • Integrating other 3rd party demographic app targeting like ComScore’s app-level demographic targeting

How You Should Prepare

While there is a lot of change coming, we at Beeswax are doing as much as we can to minimize the impact to you and to provide you new alternatives to dependence on the IDFA. 

  1. Talk to your Beeswax Customer Success Manager to enable “fallback” frequency capping and test it on some campaigns if you haven’t already
  2. Consider using IP address for in-app targeting using our IP segments (especially suppression)
  3. For app install customers start considering how your optimization tactics will change on iOS 14 on Beeswax
  4. For app install customers, speak to your MMPs about their plans and considerations and share feedback to your CSM for how you plan to utilize your MMP in tandem with SKAdnetwork

We are all ears, so please let us know if you have any additional suggestions for what we should be considering!

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