Airship’s Data Study Reveals the State of Global Mobile Permissions One Year into GDPR

Mobile audiences and notification volume show significant growth
year-over-year, while average notification opt-in rates remain high at
more than two-thirds of global users

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With GDPR reaching its one year anniversary May 25, customer engagement
company Airship
today revealed top-level results of its global benchmark study,
examining the state of mobile app user permissions across nearly 700
million people worldwide. While marketers trimmed customer lists to meet
new regulatory requirements for “traditional” channels (i.e., email),
mobile app audiences continue to grow — up globally by +16.6 percent
year over year. Businesses are also sending more notifications —
averaging 36 per user per month (up 18.4 percent since last year) —
while the average notification opt-in rate remains high at over
two-thirds (67 percent) of global app users.

These metrics vary at a regional level, from markets that are more
mature, to rapidly emerging markets with significant mobile-only
populations. However, the general pattern of increasing use and consumer
acceptance of notifications is consistently growing.

With growing concerns about consumer privacy, people are becoming more
selective in sharing their location data. The average opt-in rate for
use of location data declined from 9.3 percent to 7.7 percent worldwide.
However, in industries where the use of location data provides an
immediate consumer benefit, for example quickly finding a nearby
restaurant or movie theater, opt-in rates for location-based services
increased dramatically.

Among 15 industry verticals, Entertainment shot up from the fourth to
the second highest average location opt-in rate. Food & Drink entered
the top five for the first time due to rising adoption of mobile
pre-order and delivery services among quick serve restaurants. Both of
these industries, and the perennial location leader — Retail —
illustrate the willingness of users to share location data when it
unlocks convenient, streamlined services that make their daily lives and
out-and-about experiences better.

There are also dramatic differences among sub-regions, where valued
location-based use cases are both more established and rapidly emerging.
The standout region is Latin America & the Caribbean with average
location opt-in rates more than doubling.

Location sharing also varies across mobile operating systems. Android’s
fewer options for location sharing permissions creates a binary choice
with the number of users choosing Not Allowed growing at 36 percent
year-over-year compared to iOS’s nearly 18 percent reduction. Of the iOS
users that share location, more than one-third do so “while using” an
app, also known as Foreground Allowed — an option only just announced
for the forthcoming Android Q operating system.

Interestingly, 45 percent of iOS users are never prompted to enable
location-sharing — a 14 percent increase over last year. While the
percentage of companies that prompt users to share location has remained
the same year-over-year at 82 percent, the growth in users that go
unprompted shows businesses may be becoming more cautious about making
the location opt-in request — especially without valued use cases.

“In an era where consumers are becoming much more selective about the
channels they opt-into and the data they share, push notifications
continue to prove their value by providing customers valuable
information at the precise time and place they need it,” said Mike
Stone, SVP of marketing, Airship. “For today’s ‘show me’ consumers,
great customer experiences trump the best advertising campaigns. These
highly contextual, increasingly rich and actionable messages enable
brands to build genuine relationships by proactively engaging and
supporting customers at the moments that mean the most.”


Airship’s benchmark study compares mobile permission behaviors of global
app users active in March 2018 (594m) and March 2019 (692m). Sub-regions
included were those with at least 15 million users within the data set.

About Airship

Marketing and digital experience teams at thousands
of the world’s most admired companies
rely on Airship’s Customer
Engagement Platform to create deeper connections with customers by
delivering incredibly relevant, coordinated messages across channels.

Founded in 2009 as a pioneer in push notifications, Airship now gives
brands the user-level data, engagement channels, AI orchestration and
services they need to deliver push notifications, emails, SMS, in-app
messages, mobile wallet cards and more to exactly the right person in
exactly the right moment — building trust, boosting engagement, driving
action and growing value.

Learn more about our Customer
Engagement Platform
, read our blog
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