Analyzing over ten trillion advertiser bids flowing each month through our platform, the PubMatic team identifies quarterly developments that can help advertisers and publishers unleash the power of programmatic for the mobile channel. Findings from our Q1 2018 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report highlights that app environments drove the majority of mobile monetization growth last year.
Additionally, there was a sharp increase in the mobile share of video advertising in the past year, and, at the channel level, mobile open exchange volume growth outpaced that of private marketplaces (PMP), while the latter continued to deliver a lofty eCPM premium for publishers.
The Power of Apps
Global app impression volume rose 84 percent year-over-year (YOY) to outpace the annual 28 percent increase through the mobile web, lifting the app share of monetized mobile impressions to a solid 59 percent in Q1 2018, up from slightly below half the previous year.
The introduction of in-app header bidding also expanded the monetization opportunities for publishers. Header bidding-enabled mobile ad spending—including both in-app and mobile web environments—more than doubled YOY. Mobile header bidding ad spending was highest in the news, entertainment and leisure, food and dining and shopping verticals.
Sharp Rise in Mobile Share of Video
Nearly four in ten video impressions monetized through the PubMatic platform were served on handheld devices in Q1 2018, up from 15 percent a year prior. India, a nascent but promising market for mobile video, registered the highest growth rate for mobile video ad spending rising almost 10X YOY. More established video markets, like Spain and Australia, posted double-digit growth rates in the category.
Although brand advertisers have voiced concerns about the quality of programmatic video inventory, growing investment in the format seems to acknowledge that the benefits outweigh the risks. Eighty-four percent of digital advertisers polled worldwide said they plan to increase their investment in mobile video ads this year. eMarketer expects this shift to result in US mobile programmatic video ad spending growing 33.5 percent YOY to reach $7.14 billion in 2018.1
Open Exchanges vs Private Marketplaces (PMP)
Mobile impressions monetized through open exchanges rose 56 percent YOY in Q1 of this year, slightly outpacing the 43 percent YOY expansion in PMP volume.
Still, PMP inventory remains highly valued as it provides publishers with greater control over who buys their inventory and minimum price setting while also offering advertisers greater visibility into the content next to which their ads will appear. Highlighting these values, average mobile PMP eCPMs worldwide earned a 170 percent premium over those paid for impressions monetized through open exchanges.
Full Q1 2018 QMI Report
eMarketer, March 2018.