Apple’s Opt-Outs Won’t Cripple Location-Data: Consumers Always Say ‘Yes’ to Premium

The critical thing to remember about Apple’s new location-data permissions prompts in iOS 13 is that, beyond the underlying bugginess of the new OS rollout, it’s not a net negative for premium partners working with premium apps.

When significant mobile leaders such as Apple introduce data-permissions prompts in a new operating-system update, invariably somebody in the ad-trade publications will predict that merely asking consumers to consent their data will somehow cripple the location-data industry. 

It’s untrue, it’s been disproved every time such developments come along, and it’s certainly not the case when it comes to the introduction of the consent-prompt in iOS 13. 

The critical thing to remember about Apple’s new location-data permissions prompts in iOS 13 is that, beyond the underlying bugginess of the new OS rollout, it’s not a net negative for premium partners working with premium apps. 

Hopefully, Apple will get the repeated ask-for-permission problem solved in 13.2 for those of us who have clicked Never-ask in the settings. The essential takeaway, however, is simple. It’s one that premium apps have always offered: consumers who love their retail apps, who love their fitness, and their weather, and their news apps —they will opt-in, and they will share data for the value and relevance they’ve come to expect all along. 

We know this because they tell us as much. In a survey Verve commissioned with YPulse over the past year, up-and-coming generations of shoppers expect their apps to work with their consented data to create better experiences on their mobile screens. Our survey shows that 88% of the respondents want mobile creative that reflects their activities, locations, and tastes. 

Also, bugs aside, the transparency that Apple is bringing to mobile consumers is the kind of interaction consumers do prefer. Our survey tells us that respondents want to have a clear-eyed understanding of what they’re being asked to permit, and also what they’ll get in return from the advertiser. In other words, pop-up permissions are not the deterrent, but unclear expectations and value propositions can be.

It’s the same as when Apple previously rolled out a privacy measure — remember the blue bar? The location-powered mobile marketing industry should welcome every instance of pro-consumer mobile technology. Regarding the recent change to the permissions environment in iOS, Apple is in the early days of a specific approach to consent, and while the bug that happened in iOS 13 is annoying — and, yes, it’s happened to me, in fact — I’m not going to dismiss my favorite fitness apps over it, or over being asked for permission to share data for relevance with those top-shelf players in the first place. And neither will consumers who are loyal to the premium apps they enjoy.

Long story short, Apple’s move to give the mobile consumer even more information about location-data usage is precisely the kind of development that contributes to these best-case outcomes. All in all, we want premium apps to succeed. Premium apps and premium mobile partners win data consent, and real-time location data in a quality premium up drive up consumer engagement as early as the first visit, and as engagement and audience size increase, revenue rises with it.

I’d sure like Apple to fix those repetitive permission bugs, though. Get on that problem, Cupertino!

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