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Everything you need to know about CFO Kim Jabal the tug of the war between targeted ads and privacy, competition

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The tech space constantly changes, with major advancements and shifts occurring regularly. Recently, however, Apple has made a big change that is set to shake up the industry – introducing their new IDFA changes. This raises many questions and has created some uncertainty in the space, so exploring what this could mean for the gaming industry is worth exploring.

We are lucky to have the opportunity to speak with Unity CFO Kim Jabal, to get their insights on this important matter, the tug of war between targeted ads and privacy, competition with Epic Games, and more.

Q&A with Unity CFO Kim Jabal, about the impact from Apple’s upcoming IDFA changes, the tug of war between targeted ads and privacy, competition with Epic, more (Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat)

Kim Jabal is the Chief Financial Officer at Unity Technologies, an American video game development and digital advertising company primarily producing cross-platform 3D engine software.

Before joining Unity, Jabal spent over two decades at PayPal and eBay where she held multiple positions including VP of Global Payments, Payments Group CFO and Marketing Group CFO. Additionally, she was the Managing Director of a private venture fund focused on early stage companies through investments in disruptive technologies.

Jabal holds a Bachelor in Accounting from Santa Clara University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is regularly featured as a speaker at global industry events such as CFO Rising West Coast Summit 2019, Swell by Ripple 2019 National Conference and WXN’s Top 100 2018 Awards celebrations.

With Jabal’s proven leadership record at some of the most successful companies in technology, she has become an authority on how future strategies for consumer feedback and financial reporting should work together for success. In her current role as CFO at Unity Technologies, Kim will focus on accelerating Unity’s ambitious roadmap to support Unity Developers using native player features & tools across different gaming platforms – even with Apple’s IDFA changes soon to be coming into play.

What is the Impact of Apple’s IDFA Changes?

Apple’s upcoming IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) changes have caused a major shakeup in the ad industry. The changes will majorly impact targeted ads and privacy, competition with Epic, and more.

To gain some insight on the impact of these changes, we spoke to Unity CFO Kim Jabal. Let’s look at what he had to say.

What is the IDFA?

The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), is a unique identifier used in Apple’s iOS platform to measure the success of ad campaigns. In addition, it stores information about user profiles, such as location and demographic data, which helps advertisers better target their ads. The IDFA has been used by marketers since 2012 and is supported on iPhone devices by default.

In 2020, Apple announced that apps that use the IDFA must now display an App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt, which informs users of how the app collects their data and gives them the option to opt out of tracking altogether. This policy change sparked a heated debate over the tug-of-war between targeted advertising and user privacy rights.

Unity CFO Kim Jabal weighed in on this debate with VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi in a Q&A session released on June 17th, 2021. In it she discussed how Apple’s upcoming changes would affect Unity’s business model — including what this would mean for Unity’s competition with Epic Games Store — and her thoughts on where targeted advertising should go from here given its privacy implications.

How will the changes affect Unity?

The upcoming changes to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) have prompted many companies to reassess their mobile advertising and monetization strategies. Unity CFO Kim Jabal recently spoke with VentureBeat about how these changes affect Unity’s products, competitive position, and customer relationships.

Jabal explains that the changes impact two areas: privacy, where people will be more aware of their data and less willing to give it away; and competition, as a shift in Apple’s IDFA policy could favour one type of business over another. The move from device-level targeting to a more granular audience-level targeting is of particular interest.

From an operational perspective, Jabal believes that Unity can change its strategy quickly in light of the upcoming changes. While some disruption can be expected due to shifts in privacy policies between platforms — such as the elongation of user opt-in times — by using its established products and services, Unity will be able to navigate many of these new challenges with relative ease.

Most importantly, according to Jabal, with continued investment in VR/AR and mobile/PC gaming as well as customer success initiatives such as machine learning models on engagement metrics and product improvements tied to customer feedback metrics —Unity is well positioned against any potential competition posed by the IDFA changes.

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The Tug of War Between Targeted Ads and Privacy

As Apple’s upcoming IDFA changes create ripples in the mobile industry, mobile game developers may be caught in a tug of war between targeted ads and privacy.

In a recent Q&A with Unity CFO Kim Jabal, we get insight on the impact of Apple’s announcement and the challenges ahead, such as the increasing competition from Epic and more. Let’s explore the details.

What are the implications of targeted ads?

Targeted advertising can have both positive and negative implications. On the positive side, it allows businesses to understand customers better, know what they like, and find ways to target them. This makes their campaigns more effective, making the most of their ad budgets. On the other hand, it raises potential privacy issues as customers may not be aware that their data is being collected and used for such purposes. There is also a concern that companies collect too much information about individuals without their knowledge or consent.

Since most websites use tracking technology so they can serve up targeted ads to visitors, there should be greater transparency from companies about how data is collected and used for such purposes. Companies should also allow people to opt-in or out of having this data collected when they visit a website or sign up on an app. Finally, there must be clear rules and regulations around online privacy so companies cannot abuse the data they collect from consumers.

What are the implications of privacy?

The tension between targeted advertising and privacy has become increasingly apparent due to the rise of data collection, usage, and tracking. Consumers are becoming more aware of the potential risks of their data being collected, used, and shared without their knowledge or permission. This presents opportunities and challenges for businesses that use targeted advertising to reach potential customers.

One of the implications of lessened privacy is increased scrutiny over business practices. For example, businesses are now pressured to operate more transparently when using targeted ads. In addition, they must clearly articulate how they collect, use, store, secure and share customer data to meet regulatory requirements and customer expectations for transparency.

A second implication is that customers can expect more control over their personalised experiences regarding targeted ads. For example, customers may demand the ability to customise their ad experiences based on each company’s application: limiting or blocking certain categories or providing personal preferences for segmentation targeting techniques used by marketing teams.

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Finally, businesses can develop consumer trust by respecting user privacy settings such as “do not track” signals from web browsers or apps specifically designed to protect personal information (e.g., Apple’s App Tracking Transparency). Companies can also increase the likelihood of customer loyalty by providing the ability to request removal from a certain list or opt-out entirely at any point in time without penalty fees or decreased service quality.

Competition with Epic

Unity CFO Kim Jabal has expressed her views on the competition with Epic in the gaming industry.

With the changes being made to the IDFA, a topic of discussion, she also expressed her concerns with the tug of war that is currently going on between targeted ads and privacy.

Let’s look at her thoughts on the competition between Unity and Epic and her other views.

How is Unity competing with Epic?

Unity has positioned itself as an alternative to Epic’s Unreal Engine in the video game engine market, so it’s natural for the two companies to compete. However, Unity CEO John Riccitiello and CFO Kim Jabal have noted that their approach to the competitive landscape is focused on winning developers’ hearts and minds through superior solutions and customer service.

According to CFO Kim Jabal, Unity’s strategy against competitors is “to out-execute them. To be better than them at being faster, innovating faster, providing great customer service in terms of technical and product support, offering developers better pricing options instead of a flat fee structure per licence.”

To do this, Unity has been continuously investing heavily in research & development since the start of 2021. During their recent earnings call with investors Jabal noted that “R&D is our biggest expense” and will continue to represent a large portion of their budget throughout the remainder of 2021. This investment has already shown its benefits with several new features recently released such as Physics Updates 2D & 3D features for fast game simulation optimization and Augmented Reality toolkits for easy-to-create immersive experiences.

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Unity also plans to take advantage of its open source engine asset store platform known as Asset Store which allows developers access to various assets developed by game developers around the world allowing these teams additional resources from external sources when working on certain projects. It is currently one of their largest revenue generators and advertising services, making up more than half their total revenue. In addition, they will focus on expanding into other areas such as mobile games utilising smaller file sizes which would aid Unity in transitioning towards mobile gaming solutions where competitors like Epic Games are already established in this space.

Overall Unity is working diligently towards becoming a major competitor against Epic Games and other players in the digital space by focusing heavily on innovating faster along with providing cutting edge customer experience while utilising lower cost structures while competing fairly fairly ultimately working towards gaining an edge over competitors while maintaining tight financial performance throughout 2021 and beyond.

What strategies are they using to stay ahead?

As the competition between Epic Games and Apple heats up, Unity CFO Kim Jabal navigates the changes with strategy and determination. He believes knowing customers, delivering transparent marketing messages, utilising data responsibly, and creating a great user experience will put Unity ahead of the competition and keep it healthier in the long run.

Jabal recently spoke to VentureBeat about current trends in mobile gaming, Apple’s upcoming IDFA changes, the tug of war between targeted ads and privacy, and how Unity is staying ahead of the competition. He revealed that they have been preparing for these challenges by providing honest messaging to create a sense of trust with their customers. They also strive to use data responsibly and only serve targeted ads relevant to user engagement with their products.

In addition, Jabal believes Unity’s culture sets them apart from other companies by putting users at the centre of its decisions. By delivering authentic experiences across various platforms through interactive content that provides value to gamers, they are staying ahead of competitors like Epic Games who rely heavily on leveraging goodwill among users rather than creating true experiences for them. Finally, he advocates for developing new ad formats that allow brands to reach their desired audiences without relying on personal data collection methods or intrusive targeting practices.

With these strategies in place, Unity continues to innovate to maintain an optimal level of competitiveness as Epic continues its market-dominating climb – creating experiences that don’t just delight customers but keep them coming back for more.

tags = Qa Kim Jabal, Idfa, apple, IDFA changes, competition with Epic, qa unity cfo jabal idfa epictakahashiventurebeat, Unity Technologies