Industry Trends

Six Mobile Advertising Trends of H1 2018

3 Minute Read | September 13th, 2018

Courtney Reich

Courtney Reich
Content Marketing Manager

The first half of 2018 was a time of significant change for the mobile advertising industry — especially in the wake of the new European data privacy regulation, GDPR. Our newly-released Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report analyzes the ad requests and impressions from the Smaato platform in H1 2018 in order to identify the latest mobile advertising trends, including how the GDPR has affected mobile ad spending behavior.

Download the report to discover key insights into the current mobile and in-app programmatic advertising landscape, including:

1. Mobile Ad Requests Doubled in H1 2018

Increasing mobile usage has translated to growing mobile ad requests and ad spending on the Smaato platform across key global markets. This by-country analysis found that mobile ad requests have increased +107% in H1 2018 compared to H1 2017. The Americas region drove the most significant growth with an increase of +181%, while EMEA showed slower growth rates (23%) due to the effects of the GDPR.

2. GDPR Altered Mobile Ad Prices and Buying Behavior

The biggest mobile advertising trend to shake up the industry was the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR significantly affected the prices and demand for different types of mobile inventory in H1 2018 on the Smaato platform. Mobile ad prices increased +17% globally for non-targeted impressions in the period following the GDPR, the result of targeted inventory rapidly decreasing as publishers sought to limit their exposure to GDPR scrutiny.

Download the report for more insights into the GDPR’s mobile advertising trends, including the growth of GDPR-compliant ad impressions and shifts in buying methods post-GDPR.

3. APAC’s App-First Consumers Attracted Ad Budgets

The APAC region, and China in particular, is home to the most proficient app users, resulting in a concentration of mobile ad spending in apps on the Smaato platform. H1 2018 saw 95% of mobile ad spending going to apps in this region — over 16 share points higher than two years prior. With APAC dominating the number of global app downloads and consumer spending in global apps stores, we expect that this is a mobile advertising trend that will continue to intensify over the years to come.

4. Retail Brands Increased Mobile Advertising Budgets

The mobile advertising industry has worked hard to foster a more transparent and brand-safe environment, which has had a positive effect on brands’ mobile ad spending. Over the course of H1 2018, mobile ad spending by retail brands on the Smaato platform more than doubled (+114%). And retail brands accounted for the largest share of mobile ad spending in top app categories including social, sports, weather, and fitness.

5. Advertisers Went Big for the Super Bowl and the World Cup

Major sporting events are an ideal time for advertisers to reach engaged users. Even while watching the game on TV, sports fans are often using their phones to check stats, chat with friends, and post on social media. The Super Bowl is a prime example of this trend, as both mobile ad spending and eCPMs spiked +120% above the monthly average as US consumers turned to sports apps on game day.

Discover further mobile advertising trends around the 2018 FIFA World Cup (the first “Mobile World Cup”) in the H1 2018 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report, including the effect it had on mobile ad spending and eCPMs.

6. Budget Smartphones Drove Impressions, but High-End Devices Attracted Budgets

The fact that iOS has been losing market share to lower-cost Android devices is nothing new. Despite that ongoing trend, iOS devices are still the most lucrative platforms for app developers — and the most desired by advertisers willing to pay. iOS devices accounted for just 22% of ad impressions in the first half of 2018 yet made up 31% of all ad spending.

For more insights into the latest mobile advertising trends, download the H1 2018 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report.

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