Singapore – Southeast Asia brands still see ad networks Google Ads and Facebook Ad Networks holding significant relevance in achieving retention among target consumers as well as in applying remarketing, a new report from mobile marketing analytics company AppsFlyer showed.

According to the report, Google Ads ranked number one when it comes to retention in Southeast Asia (SEA), while Facebook Ads fare better when delivering high-quality users from remarketing campaigns across Asia Pacific (APAC).

Google extended its lead over Facebook at the top of the index report, claiming first spot in all gaming and non-gaming categories, especially finance-based apps. Indonesia’s financial consultant app, Pendanaan Teknologi ranks third place in the overall finance-based apps in SEA, followed by Cashcash and Akulaku. 

Meanwhile, in all lifestyle non-gaming categories such as shopping, life, and culture, as well as social, Facebook ranked first in SEA, followed by Google Ads and Apple Search. 

As the report stated on the high index ranks of finance-based apps and well-known gaming apps, share of non-organic installs (NOI) on iOS dropped 17% in the second half of 2020 in Southeast Asia compared to the first half of the year, while NOI on Android saw the opposite effect — increasing by 9% in the same period. This is especially relevant in Southeast Asia, where AppsFlyer’s data from July to December 202 shows that Android users contribute 84% of organic installs, versus just 13% for iOS.

“2021 is going to be significantly different to previous years for marketers with end users enabling Limited Ad Tracking (LAT), and growing attention around user privacy alongside Apple’s privacy changes. iOS reliant networks and advertisers using them need to start thinking of active solutions to limit impact now,” said Beverly Chen, marketing director for APAC at AppsFlyer.

AppsFlyer also noted a 30% jump in the cost per install (CPI) on iOS in July to December 2020 which was a key factor behind the significant drop (Android cost increased by only 10%). As a result, mobile app marketers generated fewer installs for the same budget. The rise in media cost for iOS users was driven by two main elements: an increase in demand due to accelerated digital transformation caused by Covid-19, and a decrease in supply due to a 40% rise in the share of users who enabled Limited Ad Tracking (LAT). 

Other key insights noted in the report are TikTok Ads’ significant growth on iOS (+52% in its share of the pie). From 2019 to 2020, TikTok Ads recorded 82% more NOIs in APAC, climbing five spots in the global iOS gaming power ranking to reach an impressive 9 position from 14. Meanwhile, Unity Ads is still establishing its dominance in the gaming battleground, specifically in hypercasual gaming.