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Eric Seufert: Apple makes money by giving you privacy

Mobile games analyst talks Apple's ATT and personalised in-game experiences following recent approval of the Digital Markets Act
Eric Seufert: Apple makes money by giving you privacy
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Speaking at the Google x Deconstructor of Fun Istanbul Gaming event, mobile games industry analyst Eric Seufert (Mobile Dev Memo) discussed the current mobile gaming landscape.

Seufert discussed the implications of the recently approved Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU that will introduce changes that big tech platforms will have to abide by.

Once set in motion the DMA will "open up the app stores" and force firms to offer multiple points of distribution, namely app marketplaces, as well as provide additional payment alternatives, as opposed to native solutions.

Although Seufert agrees that this is a good thing, he outlined some of the issues that will arise from this, which he claimed make "no sense".

Seufert continued: "You have to offer blanket interoperability, for instance, in messenger apps, how are you going to do that? How are you going to protect user privacy while you do that? How are you going to ensure that all these messages stay encrypted when you do that?"

Who does it help?

Seufert explained that despite the incoming regulations the EU has not specified ways that it wants firms to approach this.

"When these changes are instituted, who are they there to serve?"

Seufert suggested that although platforms advocate that new regulations benefit the consumers as it allows them to preserve their consumer privacy, these policies also help the platforms themselves.

"App Tracking Transparency (ATT) so happened to have really benefited Apple and they have captured much more of the mobile app ads market with their apple search ads product. As a result of ATT, money shifted from big platforms that were known as viable ad channels, to Apple, with Apple downloads linked to Apple Search ads doubling since June 2021."

The broad traffic bubble

Seufert explained that in the past developers and publishers could determine who the value users are on the basis of predicted LTV and then shape the product to capture the "monetisation potential".

The old model had traffic flowing into a game that was one singular experience as everyone experienced the same game, which Seufert says is not efficient anymore as the traffic is no longer personalised.

"Instead of personalising the ads that they see reaching the most relevant users you're going to get a big blob of broad traffic that is not as interested in your game as the most interested person would have been. You can give them personalised experiences to create the best, most joyous, fulfilling experience that this user can have in your product."

Seufert suggests ways of doing this can be done through special offers, discounts, personalised in-app purchases which can be "super powerful" as these methods can provide both a personalised experience and a means to put them on a monetisation track quickly.

As users being brought in are now less relevant these types of personalisation can keep users engaged and in the game ecosystem, thus bringing them back into the retention curve.