H1 2019 Global In-App Advertising Trends

Industry Trends

In-App PMP Advertising Trends, H1 2019

3 Minute Read | September 4th, 2019

Courtney Reich

Courtney Reich
Content Marketing Manager

Brands are on the search for exclusive access to premium inventory — a search that is leading them to private marketplaces (PMPs). As published in our H1 2019 Global In-App Advertising Trends report, this shift has caused ad spending within these marketplaces to more than triple over the past year.

The first half of 2019 set new records in the mobile app ecosystem. Mobile users downloaded more apps and spent more money in-app than ever before, with Q2 2019 alone seeing over 30 billion app downloads globally.1 As brands allocate more of their ad budgets to reaching these active digital consumers, this medium is attracting fraudsters looking to game the system.

Although we have published data proving that in-app is a safe advertising medium, many advertisers still have brand safety concerns. These brands are increasingly focused on finding premium, trustworthy, and protected environments in which to spend their valuable advertising dollars. For many, this means turning to PMP advertising, which has led to an influx of ad dollars going to auctions conducted within these invitation-only marketplaces.

Brands Increasingly Invest in PMPs

On the Smaato platform, in-app ad spending via PMPs rose 250% from H1 2018 to H1 2019. This notable increase follows industry trends, as eMarketer predicts that digital display ad spending via PMPs in the US will overtake that of open auctions in 2020.2 Ad spending via open auction still constitutes the majority of the total ad spending on our platform and will for the years to come. However, we expect that PMPs will continue to attract more ad dollars and a larger piece of the real-time bidding (RTB) pie.


PMP Ad Spending Growth

Technology and Healthcare Sectors Invest in PMP Advertising

With PMP advertising on the rise, programmatic advertising has clearly gone beyond open market real-time auctions. Advertisers that choose to spend in PMPs are looking for premium brand-safe inventory, and they are willing to make bigger deals and commitments to get it.


Share of Programmatic Ad Spending by Advertising Vertical

The advertisers spending the largest share of their in-app advertising budgets in PMPs are from the technology, healthcare, and food and beverage industries. Although PMPs are not as easy to use or as scalable as open auction deals, they offer advertisers a more controlled environment for accessing premium inventory. This feature is especially crucial for brands that are new to the in-app arena and looking to invest their first ad dollars into this quickly-growing medium.

Apps With GPS Data See Highest PMP Revenue

Apps within the categories of real estate, social and dating, and sports had the largest shares of ad revenue coming from PMP deals when compared to other app categories on the Smaato platform in H1 2019. These top three categories are rich with user data, including users’ GPS coordinates, making them highly sought-after by advertisers looking to target highly-specific audiences.


Top App Categories by Share of PMP Ad Revenue

Besides offering advertisers the benefit of accessing premium inventory, the increasing importance of PMP advertising also opens new opportunities for mobile app publishers. These sellers can use PMPs to identify advertisers willing to make high-eCPM deals with high-volume commitments.

Discover More In-App Advertising Trends

Our newly-released H1 2019 Global In-App Advertising Trends report looks at the current state of PMPs and other in-app programmatic advertising trends. Download the report and access key insights that will help improve your in-app advertising strategy in 2019 and beyond.

Global In-App Advertising Trends H1 2019

Sources: 1App Annie, July 2019 | 2eMarketer, April 2019

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