As mobile connectivity in emerging markets has blossomed, so too has the growth in mobile advertising. According to the Q1 Mobile Index by programmatic platform PubMatic, mobile spending is exploding—possibly set to unseat desktop web advertising by 2021.
“By analyzing over ten trillion advertiser bids flowing each month through PubMatic’s platform, we can observe real-time developments in the mobile space that may allude to broader digital industry trends,” the report reads. “We can then compare this information to other published data to further understand changes in the mobile landscape.”
PubMatic has tracked significant growth across the full spectrum of mobile advertising, reporting a 110 percent YoY increase in impressions for mobile header ads and a 140 percent increase in mobile video impressions. If these trends continue, PubMatic predicts that mobile will account for 64 percent of all ad spend in the next three years, up from the 43 percent share it held in 2017.
Emerging Markets Push Mobile Header Forward
Mobile header ads have become mainstream for programmatic platforms and publishers, with nearly three out of every four publishers utilizing the ad format in Q1 of 2018.
“Strong growth rates remain the norm as impression volume and ad spend rise on mobile devices,” the report adds. “In-app header bidding is already boosting monetization opportunities as publishers seek to optimize yield.”
Overall, impressions for header ads increased by 70 percent over Q1 2017, with desktop’s growth rate lagging significantly behind that of mobile.
This growth is mainly by huge surges in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA, with the number of impressions for those regions increasing by 1395 percent and 849 percent, respectively. In Q1 2018, the APAC and EMEA regions reached parity with the Americas in terms of mobile web header bidding, each area taking up about a third of the pie. Just last year, the Americas accounted for 88 percent of mobile header bidding, with APAC accounting for just 1 percent of the total.
News apps and sites account for the vast majority of this growth, with entertainment and leisure in a not-too-close second, while the food, shopping and technology verticals all lagged significantly behind.
Mobile Video Goes Viral
Of all mobile ad formats, mobile video saw the greatest percentage growth, increasing from 15 percent share of all video ad impressions last year to 37 percent in Q1 2018. Like with header bidding and mobile web, this growth too was driven by emerging markets.
“Although brand advertisers continue to voice concerns about the quality of programmatic video inventory, their growing investment on this format acknowledges that the benefits outweigh the risks,” the report states.
Spending on mobile video sprinted ahead of the pack in India, growing by 945 percent in the past year alone. Israel, the second-place growth market, trailed behind with 169 percent growth, while Spain and Australia took third and fourth with 74 and 41 percent growth, respectively.
However, this rapid growth spending makes the industry especially attractive to fraudsters.
“Nevertheless, publishers large and small must continue to provide ever greater inventory quality and fraud protections to retain their trusted status with advertisers,” the report cautions.
Overall, the report predicts spending on mobile video to increase by 33 percent in the coming year, reaching $7.14 billion.