- Apple's rollout of its latest mobile operating system iOS 12 had little effect on the engagement rates of mobile notifications despite offering new user controls to limit their visibility, per a study that mobile engagement platform Urban Airship shared with Mobile Marketer. Apple today is expected to announce the release of video streaming and magazine subscription services that may boost push notifications from media providers.
- Thirty percent of media app users showed no change in notification engagement rates after upgrading to iOS 12. About two-thirds (63%) of media app users saw a small change of 1%, positive or negative, in notification engagement rates. Users of media apps received anywhere from 100 to 300 notifications a month.
- More than half (54%) of retailers had no change in notification engagement rates. The notification opt-in rate for retailers was about 43% in Q4, when iOS 12 was available for the entire three-month period. That rate was unchanged from the prior quarter, Urban Airship's study of more than 3 million retail app users found.
IOS 12 let mobile users change the notification settings on iPhones and iPads to "quiet delivery," including placement on a lock-screen with no sound or turning them off altogether. The change made notifications less intrusive to consumers who didn't want to hear their mobile devices make noises throughout the day. But the iOS upgrade doesn't appear to have made any difference in the engagement and opt-in rates for notifications, including those for media and retailer apps. That's positive news for marketers who may have worried that iOS would suppress the efficacy of notifications.
As Apple releases video streaming and magazine subscription services, the volume of push notifications may rise as subscribers to these platforms opt in to receive more alerts from news providers. Apple today is expected to introduce Apple News Magazines, a digital newsstand that charges a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to hundreds of magazines. The launch comes after the tech giant last year acquired digital newsstand Texture as the basis for a new Netflix-like service for magazines. As sales growth for the iPhone slows — or even declines in key overseas markets like China — Apple is boosting its services business to deepen ties with customers. Its services revenue grew 33% last year to about $40 billion, making up about 15% of Apple's total of $265.6 billion.
IOS users tend to receive fewer push notifications than Android users do, possibly an indication of Apple's focus on user privacy. The average push notification opt-in rate for iOS was about 44% a year ago, compared with 91% for Android, according to data from Accengage cited by researcher eMarketer. The biggest mistake that marketers make with push notifications is asking consumers to opt in too early. Mobile apps should take time to build a relationship with a user to demonstrate the value of opting in to receive push notifications, eMarketer said.