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ATT continues taking a toll: The cheapest CPI on Apple still costs more than the priciest on Android

Android’s most expensive ad form costs $1.22; Apple’s cheapest is $3.09
ATT continues taking a toll: The cheapest CPI on Apple still costs more than the priciest on Android
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Mar 6, 2024 report Liftoff
  • Liftoff’s 2024 Mobile Ad Creative Index report reveals CPIs across various ad formats
  • The average cost per install of an interstitial ad is $0.82 on Android versus $5.84 on Apple
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Nearly three years on from Apple’s enforced ATT, the impacts are still being felt in the mobile scape with significant cost disparity remaining in advertising games on different platforms. The average cost per install of an interstitial ad, for example, is $0.82 on Android versus a massive $5.84 on Apple.

Video ads cost slightly more for each at $0.86 versus $5.91, and while the most expensive ad type on Android costs an average $1.22 per install, the cheapest option on Apple costs $3.09.

These statistics, as per Liftoff’s 2024 Mobile Ad Creative Index report, come from an analysis of more than 600 billion ad impressions across almost 50 million clicks and 144 million installs over the past 12 months.

Android advantage

Among the reports many findings, the success of playable ads is especially noteworthy as they have become the most cost-effective form of advertising to Android users. Being interactive, they allow potential players to try a game out before they download it, and given their incredibly low CPI of only $0.60 on Android, they look set to become an increasingly popular option among advertisers.

On Apple, however, playable ads have a CPI of $5.75 and are the third-most expensive form of advertising a mobile game behind interstitial and video ads. Instead, the most efficient ad strategy on Apple is the native ad, which fit seamlessly into the app experience - such as promotional listings, paid search and recommendation widgets - though even as the cheapest option available on Apple, and the most expensive choice on Android, it still comes out more affordable on Android post-ATT.

Indeed, native ads have a CPI of $3.09 on Apple devices, making them notably cheaper than interstitials and videos; meanwhile on Android, native ads represent the most expensive option at only $1.22.

Findings the right strategy

Liftoff's report has also revealed that playable ads on Android drive 20 times more installs for gaming apps compared to banners, and that marketing via influencers is also proving a viable strategy. On average across iOS and Android, influencers’ contacted through the Liftoff Influence team produced user-generated content with a 20% lower CPI compared to other video ads.

While this suggests less of a need for advertisers to create their own ads - instead leveraging influencers - 91% of organisations are now expecting to improve their productivity from generative AI too, utilising the tech in their ads creative.

Overall, costs per install have gone down since the start of 2023, but of course the purpose of findings users is not only in getting the initial download but in maintaining them as players. In that regard, native and banner ads still have the best return on investment on average right now:

"When it comes to mobile games, ad conversions can be tricky. However, gaming ads with a video or playable element have a much higher chance of driving an install than banner ads. They are 20 times more likely to do so. That said, native and banner ads still generate the most ROI 7 days post-install, with native ads at 20.26% and banner ads at 18.20%. However, the expectations of the game and the genre it belongs to can greatly affect the ROI outcomes," Liftoff explained.

Liftoff's VP of Global Sales Joey Fulcher shared with us what game marketers need to know about driving user acquisition through ad campaigns.