Industry Trends

Global In-App Advertising Trends of H2 2018

3 Minute Read | February 28th, 2019

Courtney Reich

Courtney Reich
Content Marketing Manager

We just released our latest Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report, which reveals important mobile and in-app programmatic insights from H2 2018.

Smaato has regularly produced this report since 2015, and during this time, we consistently charted mobile’s growth as an advertising medium. The H2 2018 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report marks a tipping point in which mobile is beginning to overtake all other media to become the most popular media format among advertisers. As advertisers direct more money into mobile and in-app advertising, and consumers continue to adopt smartphones around the world, both demand and supply increased year-over-year.

Media Usage Becomes App-First

Apps were clearly the main driver of mobile’s growth in H2 2018. Our report found significant growth across all key in-app advertising metrics, including ad request volume and eCPMs.

As app usage climbs worldwide, monetization opportunities for mobile publishers are also on the rise. Today’s engaged mobile users are driving up mobile ad request and impression volumes — and with 60% more apps expected to monetize through in-app advertising in 2019, this trend is not likely to slow down anytime soon.1

The number of mobile ad requests on the Smaato platform increased 27% from H2 2017 to H2 2018. India impressed with the highest growth rate worldwide. The country’s exploding ad request growth is characteristic of emerging mobile markets in which the number of mobile device owners, their time spent on mobile, and overall app download numbers all rise quickly.

A Healthy In-App Marketplace

From 2016 to 2018, time spent in-app has increased by 50% globally, and the number of app store downloads has grown by 35%.2 The world’s biggest mobile advertising market — the US — also stood out on the Smaato platform for its growth in both ad requests (170%) and eCPMs (79%).

While India finds itself in the “experimentation” phase of app maturity, the US is in a stage of “ubiquity.”3 The average US consumer has over 100 apps installed on their smartphone, and over the past year, in-app mobile ad spending in the US has increased by 38%.4

What’s Driving In-App Advertising’s Growth?

Our H2 2018 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report includes a number of insights into what’s driving the remarkable growth of in-app advertising. These key insights include:

  • EEA Inventory Grows in Value Post-GDPR: After an initial dip post-GDPR, the volume of EEA traffic with valid consent grew throughout H2 2018. This traffic also steadily increased in value with eCPMs rising 1.8X from June to December 2018.
  • Retailers Outspend All Other Mobile Advertisers: Retail advertisers accounted for nearly half of mobile ad spending in H2 2018, up 14 share points from H1 2018. During the US midterm elections, Democratic advertisers spent 2X more than Republicans.
  • Rewarded Video Drives Video Ad Spending Growth: Mobile ad spending rose significantly for all video ad formats, but the biggest increase was in rewarded video with a 139% jump compared to H2 2017. Rewarded video viewers tend to be older and female.
  • Cyber Monday and Singles’ Day Set Mobile Records: Mobile stole the show on Singles’ Day and Cyber Monday with daily mobile ad spending peaking at 51% above the monthly average on Singles’ Day and 26% on Cyber Monday.
  • Apps Are Less Prone to Fraud Than Mobile Web: Working with industry-leading traffic quality partners, we detail how in-app advertising saw 25% less fraud than mobile web in H2 2018 while botnets targeting iOS devices rose.

Source: 1App Annie, January 2019 | 2App Annie, January 2019 | 3App Annie, January 2019 | 4eMarketer, October 2018

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