Mobile Users Are Increasingly App-First and Mobile Video Ad Spending Almost Doubles Worldwide, Smaato Study Show

Posted on December 18th, 2017

New data shows in-app advertising owns at least 85% share of mobile ad spending in each of the world’s biggest advertising markets, while video ad requests skyrocket.

San Francisco, CA – 18 December 2017 – Smaato, the leading global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, today released its Q3 2017 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising Report, analyzing 1.5+ trillion ad impressions delivered on the Smaato platform in Q3 2017. The new data showcases the increasing dominance of in-app advertising over mobile web in overall worldwide mobile ad spending and also delves into the explosive growth of mobile video.

With consumers now spending over 80% of their smartphone time in apps worldwide, in-app advertising continued to be the main growth engine of worldwide mobile ad spending. Yet again in Q3 2017, in-app set a new ad spending share record on the Smaato platform, accounting for a whopping 96% of global ad spending. This continued shift toward in-app and away from mobile web was a global phenomenon, with in-app garnering at least 85% of mobile ad spending in each of the top 20 mobile advertising markets worldwide.

Smaato’s data also showed that mobile video ad spending growth continued to outpace that of all other mobile ad formats — with video ad spending almost doubling (>90% growth) in one quarter alone. Ad spaces that played mobile video ads earned 4.1 times higher eCPMs on average than those with non-video ad formats.

“Although in-app advertising already became more than three quarters of the worldwide ad spending on our platform last year, there was clearly still more upside, as in-app established its global mobile ad spending dominance in 2017,” said Ragnar Kruse, CEO and Co-Founder of Smaato. “Given consumers’ pronounced shift to in-app over the past year, it is not surprising that advertisers followed, especially considering the significant targeting precision and tracking accountability advantages that in-app advertising give advertisers versus any alternative — whether mobile web, desktop or traditional television.”

The report offers additional insights into global mobile advertising, including:

  • Millennials were the targets of the vast majority of mobile ad spending in comparison to Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers, capturing a 79% share globally. Advertisers paid the highest global eCPMs for Millennial smartphone users.
  • Mobile ad requests reached an all-time high as eCPM growth hit top speeds. The Smaato platform saw a record high number of ad requests in Q3 2017, with key mobile advertising markets such as the US (+345%), Japan (+180%) and the UK (+174%) posting huge ad request gains (a surrogate measure of mobile usage). eCPMs also climbed worldwide, with the EMEA region showing the highest growth.
  • Despite Android’s global domination, iOS was the apple of advertisers’ eyes. Android picked up major ad spending share points over the past year to reach an all-time high this quarter at 68%. Although Android commands over two-thirds of the mobile advertising market, iOS is widening the OS eCPM gap — in Q3 2017, eCPMs on iOS devices were an impressive +30% higher than Android eCPMs.
  • China’s smartphone ubiquity strengthened mobile ad values. Home to more than 724 million smartphone users, China is a mobile market of unmatched scale. Over the past year, mobile ad requests from China increased +64%, as eCPMs for ad spaces on mobile devices located within the country increased +74%. For advertisers looking to target these mobile-first consumers, keep in mind that they are majority male (85% of mobile ad requests come from men’s devices) and young (50% of ad requests come from users aged 13-24).

Each month, Smaato’s platform reaches over a billion unique users globally and delivers over 500 billion ad impressions each month, which are auctioned through a network of over 450 of the world’s largest DSPs and ad network demand partners. This current Global Trends in Mobile Advertising Report reflects activity and trends in the third quarter of 2017, and analyzes trends across quarters and against the previous year.

To download the full report, click here.