Over the past decade, consumers have fallen in love with their mobile devices, with 46 percent of U.S. smartphone users indicating that they “can’t live without their smartphones” and daily mobile media consumption reaching three hours per day (second behind only TV). For publishers and advertisers, mobile represented a ripe, new opportunity—but developing sustainable mobile advertising businesses had not gone as smoothly as most had hoped, hindered by device fragmentation, bandwidth limitations and other unresolved technology issues.
However, PubMatic’s internal data analysis indicates that, from a programmatic perspective, the “mobile gap” between time spent with mobile (25% of all time spent with media in the U.S.) and mobile advertising (18% of all ad spending in the U.S.) is now closed. Rapid improvements around technical infrastructure, targeting capabilities and customer experience have helped closed this gap and primed mobile advertising for continued growth ahead.
PubMatic today released its inaugural Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) for Q3 2015, which shows continuous improvement in mobile ad performance as a key growth driver for publishers and advertisers. The combination of an increased number of mobile optimized sites, new mobile opportunities in emerging markets, expanding mobile opportunities in mature markets and premium private marketplace (PMP) performance, indicates that the rise in global mobile consumption in 2015 will drive increased revenue for publishers and advertisers across all major global regions.
The quarterly study, which analyzed billions of daily impressions from Q3 2015 (calendar year) operational data, found five key trends that demonstrate mobile monetization growth:
- Mobile CPMs are higher and growing faster than desktop CPMs. Targeting consumers more accurately increased the value of mobile impressions, with mobile CPMs increasing 12 percent, year-over-year, and desktop up 10 percent, year-over-year, resulting in mobile CPMs that are 34% higher than desktop CPMs.
- Soaring growth in global mobile advertising. New mobile adoption in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Latin America (LATAM) in combination with mobile scalability in mature markets, North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), drove year-over-year growth in monetized mobile impressions in Q3. North America and EMEA CPMs showed year-over-year increases, 17 percent and 47 percent, respectively. While APAC and LATAM CPMs saw year-over-year declines, 17 percent and 6 percent, respectively, those declines were offset by triple-digit year-over-year growth in monetized impressions in both regions.
- Apple app ads are increasing the fastest in price and volume, while mobile web inventory continues to grow. Advertisers continue to aggressively pursue mobile ad campaigns, driving increased volume across all mobile platforms. In Q3, on a year-over-year basis, monetized mobile impressions increased by 133 percent on iOS apps, 42 percent on Android apps, 24 percent on mobile web and 44 percent on tablet web. CPMs increased, year-over-year, on iOS app inventory, Android app inventory and mobile web, by 109 percent, 11 percent and 30 percent, respectively, while tablet web CPMs declined 26 percent.
- Mobile optimization is progressing rapidly and improving mobile web inventory quality. Average CPMs for mobile optimized (i.e. mobile browser-friendly) inventory rose 48 percent in Q3, year-over-year, and fell by 26 percent for mobile non-optimized inventory.
- Private marketplace (PMP) CPMs are higher than non-PMP CPMs, by a factor of 5-6x for mobile PMP. PMPs attracted higher CPMs in Q3, largely due to transparency of the buy, as well as access to high-quality inventory. Generally, PMP inventory ensures a high level of engagement on premium sites that is well-suited for valuable brand marketing campaigns.
To view the full Quarterly Mobile Index, please click here. Please feel free to reach out to discuss the report with your PubMatic sales representative or contact PubMatic here and someone will follow up.
 Gallup (Jul. 2015)
 eMarketer (Oct. 2015)