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Header bidder driving growth of mobile programmatic advertising

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By Justin Pearse | Managing Director, The Drum Works

August 15, 2017 | 4 min read

Header bidding is seeing some of its biggest growth in mobile channels, according to the PubMatic Quarterly Mobile Index report, with EMEA the biggest driver of global growth. The region’s share of mobile header bidding impressions nearly tripled in Q2 this year.

The report, created by analysing the billions of ad impressions served across the PubMatic platform, provides insight for publishers and advertisers on the dynamics driving this market.

Monetised header bidding impressions rose 149% year-on-year in Q2 this year. In May, over 80% of global publisher impressions used header bidding. Although desktop header bidding remained dominant, mobile header bidding grew by 285%. The growth rate gap between the two was the narrowest to date.

Pubmatic mobile research

Pubmatic mobile research

The biggest growth in mobile header bidding was seen among news publishers, accounting for three quarters of the growth.

The potential of the mobile header bidding audience was reflected in the rise of eCPMs by almost 150% in Q2, nearly equalling the value of desktop impressions.

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Newer ad formats such as native and video also saw significant gains in the uptake of mobile programmatic advertising. The report found that mobile devices represented 67% of such native impressions in Q2. PubMatic believes the uptake will increase throughout this year in line with publishers’ focus on the format.

In video ad formats, mobile accounted for almost one fifth of programmatic impressions, with 72% of such impressions served in US. EMEA accounted for 25%, with APAC at 3%.

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The increased focus on transparency in the programmatic sector was credited in the report for a growth in the use of PMPs in mobile programmatic, with such impressions up in volume for the sixth quarter in a row, reaching 73% year-on-year growth in Q2.

The growth in mobile programmatic advertising was especially stark on the mobile app platform. The volume of such impressions more than doubled, growing 107% year on year in Q2. Reflecting a continued consumer preference for mobile apps over the mobile web, mobile web programmatic impressions dropped 35%.

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The overall potential of mobile programmatic advertising was shown in the global increase in eCPMs, up 11% in Q2. EMEA saw the biggest growth at 141% year on year, followed by the US at 60%. Such growth was credited by PubMatic to be caused by a shift in focus by advertisers from quantity to quality media.

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