With the release of iOS 9 many people have been talking about how the new Apple OS allows app makers to develop ad blockers for phones and tablets. While this is a major concern for many marketers, it might not even be the biggest problem that they will face. The new content blocking options built in to iOS 9 will also allow app developers to make applications that will stop analytics and other tracking options too.
Many of the apps being developed will have setting options that will allow the user to either allow tracking data to be used, or block them just like ads. Since the vast majority of people using these apps won’t really know what analytics are used for (or even what analytics is) they will almost certainly choose to block it.
This means that marketers and publishers will not be able to get the detailed information they rely on to help improve their sites and businesses in general. Imagine trying to plan out an SEO campaign without knowing where your mobile traffic is currently coming from. Or what if you want to create an ad campaign based on keywords, but you can’t gather the information needed to know which keywords are leading to sales and which are just ‘browsers.’
While the ad blocking itself is certainly a major problem for many people (or will be if these apps become popular) I would argue that the analytics blocking may be a bigger cause for concern. Almost all marketers use analytics in some fashion (and those who don’t really should).
With iOS 9 only being out for a short time now there are already quite a few ad blocker apps that are topping the charts in the app store, and more are being developed all the time. Some of the most popular options have the analytics blocking built right in.
There are no stats yet on just how many people are downloading or buying the ad blocking apps yet, but it is clearly a large number. Of course, we’ll have to wait to see how many of them are actually going to use the apps and which ones will turn on settings to block analytics as well. The bottom line, however, is that this may be a big cause for concern.
To my knowledge, there is no viable alternative when it comes to gathering the data that marketers need to run successful campaigns. This truly could be a game changer when it comes to how site owners, ad networks and marketers in general gather data and run their businesses.