Industry Trends

Mobile and In-App Advertising Trends That Shaped Q4 2017

4 Minute Read | February 22nd, 2018

Courtney Reich

Courtney Reich
Content Marketing Manager

Apps have transformed mankind’s relationship with technology. We not only spend more time in-app than ever before, but the diverse quantity of apps available has become much greater than Steve Jobs could have ever imagined when the App Store first opened ten years ago. As a result, advertisers have a growing interest in the mobile app landscape and are investing an increasing amount of their budgets towards reaching app users.

The Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report analyzes the billions of monthly mobile ad impressions from the Smaato platform in order to gain insight into the mobile and in-app advertising landscape. Download the report below to learn more about the key mobile advertising trends observed on the Smaato platform in Q4 2017, which include:

1. Mobile Ad Impressions Hit New Global Heights

Nearly 80% of the world’s internet users are now accessing the web via mobile phones, which means that mobile is ripe with opportunities for advertisers to reach a diverse audience of unprecedented size.

Smaato saw a record number of mobile ad impressions in Q4 2017, with +60% growth over the same quarter last year. The Americas (+87%) and APAC (+61%) were the top regions in terms of ad impression growth, with EMEA showing the highest eCPM growth of all regions during this period.

2. The In-App Environment Drove Ad Engagement

With users’ time spent with the mobile web remaining steady over the past year, apps’ growing popularity has enabled them to consume a rapidly-increasing share of mobile ad spending. In the last year alone, in-app’s share of mobile ad spending on the Smaato platform increased by 16 points, reaching an all-time high of 96%.

This domination of mobile ad spending was a global phenomenon, with in-app holding at least an 87% share of ad spending in each of the top 20 mobile advertising markets worldwide. Compared to mobile web, in-app ads also boasted higher eCPMs, more user engagement and increased advertiser demand in Q4 2017.

3. Video Ad Spending Soared on the Small Screen

Throughout 2017, one mobile ad format stood out above all others — video. Mobile video really took off on the Smaato platform last year, with a 14X increase in ad requests over the previous year. eCPMs for mobile video also saw significant growth on the Smaato platform, increasing by +70% from 2016 to 2017.

4. Black Friday Was the Biggest Mobile Ad Spending Day of 2017

In anticipation of consumers’ increased holiday spending and app usage, advertisers increased their budgets for each of the Q4 2017 holidays in the US, which resulted in significant ad spending peaks on the Smaato platform.

Black Friday was the country’s highest ad spending day of Q4 2017 on the Smaato platform, with advertisers spending +32% more on this day than the quarter’s daily average. Mobile eCPMs peaked on December 15 and 23, with the average December eCPM +30% higher than that of October.

5. Consumers Wanted Entertainment, Advertisers Sought Shoppers

Apps have transformed our daily lives — they now replace maps, alarm clocks, post-it notes, MP3 players and even the TV weatherman. But which kind of apps are most popular among users? And which app category had the most demand from advertisers?

In Q4 2017, the most popular app category on the Smaato platform in terms of ad requests was Arts & Entertainment, with users requesting 1.7X more ads from this category than the second most popular category, Technology & Computing. In terms of advertiser demand, Style & Fashion held the top spot, receiving 2.4X more bids per ad request than the next most competitive category, Hobbies & Interests.

6. In APAC, Skyrocketing Smartphone Adoption Sparked Advertiser Interest

Rising mobile usage among APAC consumers translated to rising mobile ad requests on the Smaato platform in Q4 2017, with Japan (+147%), South Korea (+105%) and Singapore (+96%) all showing impressive ad request growth from 2016 to 2017. China posted the region’s highest eCPMs in 2017, +191% higher than the average APAC eCPM.

Q4 2017 also saw the world’s biggest mobile shopping day — Singles’ Day (November 11). On this special shopping holiday, consumers are encouraged to buy gifts for themselves, and in 2017, Singles’ Day set new global records by driving $25.3 billion in sales, with 90% of transactions occurring on mobile. On the Smaato platform, mobile ad impressions spiked from November 9-11, +20% higher than the two-week average from November 5-18.

For more insights into the growth and evolution of the mobile programmatic advertising landscape, download the Q4 2017 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report.

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