At the most recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple introduced significant changes to their ad attribution framework – AdAttributionKit (AAK) – for iOS and iPadOS. Built on the fundamentals of SKAdNetwork, AAK aims to revolutionize how ad attributions are managed and measured across Apple devices.


  • 00:00 – Cold open, quick takeaways, sponsor message
  • 01:41 – Overview of AdAttributionKit
  • 03:43 – AAK variants and schemas
  • 05:23 – Lessons from SKAN: “Rich will get richer”
  • 07:35 – Re-engagement and debugging mechanisms
  • 09:45 – Prepare for thrash in mobile
  • 10:38 – Closing and sponsor plug

Introduction to AdAttributionKit

AdAttributionKit, designed to be interoperable, was first released with iOS 17.4 and has undergone significant changes in iOS 18. This new framework is expected to eventually replace SKAdNetwork (SKAN), leading to the deprecation of the latter.

Variants of AdAttributionKit

AdAttributionKit comes in two variants:

  1. App AdAttributionKit: This variant allows for the serving and attribution of app install ads directed either to the Apple App Store or to alternative app marketplaces.
  2. Web AdAttributionKit: This proposed framework represents a rebranded version of Apple’s Private Click Measurement (PCM) system.

Features and Capabilities

AdAttributionKit introduces new schemas for categorizing ad placements and measuring conversions:

  • Custom Click Ads: These ads are used for promoting apps distributed on either the App Store or an alternative marketplace.
  • View-through Ads: These ads require a minimum watch time of 2 seconds for video tracking and are used for promoting apps distributed on either the App Store or an alternative marketplace.
  • Recommend Ads:
    • These ad formats and measurement flows are more flexible and powerful but are exclusive to the Apple App Store.
    • SKOverlay Ads: These ads, used for promoting apps on the App Store, expand into a partial takeover and can be installed directly from the ad.
    • SKStoreProductViewController Ads: These ads support view or click engagements and are used for non-app media – such as an app’s product page.

The attribution windows for view-through ads are set at 24 hours, while click engagements have a 30-day attribution window.

New Features in AdAttributionKit

  • Conversion-Type Field for Re-Engagement: AAK introduces a new postback field, conversion-type, which supports three values: download, redownload, and re-engagement. This field is designed to aid in retargeting and measuring reengagement, although it does not provide an IDFA-like mechanism for user retargeting.
  • PostbackUpdate Structure: An advertiser can use this to indicate whether a user has re-engaged with or installed their app. This is done through a new enumerator – ConversionType.
  • Developer Tools: Enhanced tools to assist developers in debugging and optimizing their ad campaigns.

Analysis and breakdown

For AAK to fully realize its potential, a supportive ecosystem must be established. However, it is debatable that AAK will be massively adopted by the industry.

If SKAN is any indication, many marketers will simply confine themselves to channels where they can still use fingerprinting. This means that, while AAK could bring more precise and flexible ad attribution capabilities to the marketing ecosystem, it will only be the most adept marketers who actually take advantage of it – leading to a “rich-getting-richer” scenario.

To stay ahead in this evolving landscape, marketers must stay adaptable and innovative. AdAttributionKit represents a significant shift in how ad attributions are managed, and is likely to replace SKAN in coming years. Marketers who quickly and effectively adapt to these new standards will reap the rewards.

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