Programmatic Strategies Drove Upwards of 50% Mobile CPM Gains for Premium Publishers in Q1


According to the billions of impressions from PubMatic’s platform, it’s been a very strong first quarter for the global mobile advertising space. Released today, PubMatic’s Q1 2016 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report found that ad inventory value on both mobile app and mobile web increased substantially, with CPMs (cost per thousand ad impressions) on mobile app up 67 percent and on mobile web up 57 percent year-over-year. For publishers and advertisers, this demonstrates increasing ad quality and value across both mobile platforms.

The improvement in mobile web value is especially important to premium publishers that typically see the majority of their mobile traffic originating from mobile web (e.g. mobile browsers, such as Safari and Chrome). In the first quarter, 80 percent of monetized mobile inventory came from mobile web—with the remainder from mobile apps—which means that premium publishers are better monetizing on the bulk of their ad inventory. Looking ahead, premium publishers can continue to monetize on their mobile web inventory through two key strategies:

  1. Publishers can add geolocation (i.e. latitude & longitude) or device ID to mobile web inventory to increase targeting capabilities. Better targetability can increase value of mobile web inventory significantly.
  1. Publishers can also bundle their mobile inventory into private marketplace (PMP) packages to make them cross-platform, which is more attractive to media buyers and typically attract higher prices than single-platform PMP packages.

Within mobile apps, advertisers are increasingly targeting Android users, as Android app CPMs increased 147 percent, year-over-year. While Apple iOS app inventory prices are still higher on an absolute basis, iOS app CPMs rose only 62 percent year-over-year. Globally, Android users outnumber iOS users nearly six to one (according to IDC), which might have something to do with Android’s increasing value to advertisers.

The first quarter was also a busy quarter for sports-focused advertisers, as advertiser demand shifted to private marketplaces (PMPs) during major sporting events in the first quarter, including the Super Bowl and NCAA College Basketball Tournament. During these marquee events, advertisers looked to target mobile-fixated consumers who were following along on their mobile devices. PMPs are an increasingly popular option for media buyers because they offer preferred access to high-quality inventory, at scale, which allow buyers to pre-plan on campaigns ahead of major events. This effectively simplifies the mobile ad buying process for major brand advertisers.

The quarterly report, which analyzed billions of daily impressions from Q1 2016 operational data, as a whole found five key trends in global mobile advertising for the quarter:

  1. Android app inventory value was up nearly 150 percent year-over-year, as advertisers targeted the majority of global mobile consumers
  2. For premium publishers, mobile web represented the majority of mobile traffic and inventory, and a significant monetization opportunity
  3. Average mobile CPMs in the Americas and the EMEA region grew 30 percent and 64 percent, respectively, demonstrating increasing quality of mobile inventory on a global level
  4. Major sporting events attracted significant spending in mobile private marketplaces, driving PMP volume in the sports category over 1000 percent year-over-year
  5. Programmatic is improving mobile CPMs, driving broader mobile advertising growth

For the full Q1 2016 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report, click HERE. Please also feel free to reach out to discuss the report with your PubMatic sales representative or contact PubMatic here, and someone will follow up.

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