Publishers, Advertisers Turn Focus to In-App Mobile Video

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Mobile video ad spend may capture more than half of all digital video dollars in 2018 and is projected to grow 54% year over year, according to PubMatic’s Quarter Three Quarterly Mobile Index. Publishers should note that advertiser interest could produce incremental revenue opportunities, especially in light of the fact that advertisers are planning to boost their mobile video investment over a 12-month period, the report states.

“In-app volume and ad spending is really the driver of mobile, which in turn is the driver of digital, which in turn is a driver of advertising as a whole already this year,” said Osbaldo Franco, PubMatic’s director of marketing research. “A lot of that is driven by consumer behavior, of course,” he added.

For the first time, mobile video impressions represented more than 50% of those monetized through PubMatic, which is an increase from 24% of all monetized impressions in quarter three of last year, according to the report. Those impressions are mostly driven by in-app video impression volume, which jumped by 293%, relative to the same time last year. Advertisers are quite positive about mobile video at the moment, Franco said.

The quarter three report highlighted three key mobile advertising trends. In addition to the growth in mobile video ad spend, mobile header ad bidding and growth in the back-to-school ad-spend both played key roles in the mobile landscape.

While header bidding has been a massive success in mobile markets, it is considered relatively well-established and unlikely to see exponential growth in the coming year, Franco said. But in-app header bidding is a different story.

“Adoption has risen sharply through 2018, with apps reaching a 14% share of monetized mobile header bidding impressions in Q3,” the report states.

Until now, header bidding technology had not translated easily into in-app environments, often causing lagging and download issues. “Some of that is only being perfected now, through, for example, server-to-server setups that take away a bunch of the latency that occurs on the app at the moment,” Franco said.

Traditionally, server development kits had to be implemented within an app for a mobile app publisher to work with a demand partner, which could cause problems like reduced stability, increased app download size, and poor user experience. The implementation of server-to-server setups will help mitigate those issues while also increasing revenue potential, according to the report.

The third and final key report trend indicates that back-to-school shopping triggered a 142% year-over-year increase in the volume of monetized mobile impressions for retail publishers. The volume for those impressions peaked in late August, which indicates that consumers are shopping earlier than usual in the traditional season.

“It is very likely that those early birds for back to school will also exist during the holiday shopping season, and so we are advising our ad solutions team to pass that knowledge to advertisers so they can recalibrate the timing of their campaigns for the holiday shopping season,” Franco said.

PubMatic is a programmatic advertising solutions service and sell-side platform for publishers.