Apple's Search Ads platform has cemented itself as a top advertising product but its success has hurt its return on investment, according to AppsFlyer.
The mobile market research firm has released the sixth edition of its Performance Index, studying and ranking the best advertisers in the industry. It looked at 250 media networks working with over 6,000 apps between July 2017 and December 2017.
AppsFlyer warned that due to Apple's Search Ads' success, the cost of advertising on the platform had increased. This has led to a reduced ROI, which has affected its standing in some of the ranks.
Facebook on top
The top five advertisers for gaming overall were Facebook, Google AdWords, AppLovin, Unity Ads and Apple Search Ads. The same companies also topped the rankings of delivering the most installs, except Vungle took fifth place, with Apple falling to 13th.
Facebook dominated the charts around the world, except in Japan and Korea on Android. Google's Adwords took the top spots for these locations, and in Greater China on iOS.
Moving away from installs, AppsFlyer also studied the 12-week retention rates of the advertisers. AppLovin delivered the highest number of users that stayed after 12 weeks, with AdColony, Facebook, Apple Search Ads and Vungle rounding off the top five.