What are the Average Mobile Advertising Rates for Apps?

One of the core metrics for digital advertising, and mobile advertising specifically, is CPM, which stands for Cost-Per-Mille. Essentially it tells an advertiser how much a thousand impressions of his banner cost and this mobile advertising cost various per industry, ad delivery channel and geo location. Despite the overall trend of mobile advertising professionals to be focused on CPA metric, stands for Cost-Per-Action, which measures a cost of specific action that people take with a digital product, CPM metric is still relevant and important. In this article we want to bring up the industry statistics to highlight CPM for various channels, industries and locations.

Key Mobile Advertising eCPM data points:

To start with, let’s look into a meta picture of media advertising spending in US. According to eMarketer data from March of 2016, the total spend in 2016 passed $192 billion and is projected to reach $234 billion by 2020. The overarching trend is that during the five year period, from 2015-2020, mobile ad spending is poised to more than double, from $32 billion in 2015 to $77 billion by 2020. To put this growth in perspective, it’s enough to mention two figures. Number one – in 2015 mobile ad spendings constituted roughly 50% of the total digital spending of $60 billion, by 2020 it’ll jump to almost 75% of the total digital media spending that is projected to reach $105 billion. Number two – the other types of media growth for the same period is substantially smaller. TV ad spending by 2020 is projected to reach $77 billion, only 10% growth from about $69 in 2015.

US Total Media Ad Spending, by media 2015-2020, $ billions


Source: eMarketer

eCPM rates vary from one ad network to the other, let’s look at the top ad networks iOS eCPM for 2015-2016 period.  Overall we can see the trend for eCPM to go down, from about $6 in March of 2015, to about $4 in July of 2016. eCPM rates of AdColony, InMobi, AppLovin and Chartboost  are clustered between $2.5-$5.0 range per 1,000 impressions.

Top mobile ad networks iOS eCPM Rates, 2015-2016

Source: AdTapsy

When we look at the numbers for Android eCPM for the top ad networks, we see them clustering below $2.5 per a thousand impressions. The reason for Android eCPM being significantly lower than iOS, $2.5 against $4, is that Android owns a bigger part of the mobile market and hence the volume of ads is bigger, meaning competition is higher. And when there is a higher competition, eCPM rates should be lower.

Top mobile ad networks Android eCPM Rates, 2015-2016

Source: AdTapsy

Now let’s consider the lowest and highest eCPM advertising rates for both iOS and Android platforms in US. The lowest end for iOS presented by AppLovin ad network. After a sizable bump in December 2015 – January 2016, which we can attribute to the holiday season, we see a constant decline in app advertisting rates and by July 2016 eCPM has reached below $5 point.

iOS eCPM Rates in US (Applovin data)

Source: AdTapsy

The highest end of eCPM advertising rates for iOS belongs to AdMob ad network operated by Google. As of July 2016 we see the eCPM rate has reached $10 point and throughout the second part of 2015 and during this year the rate has been slightly fluctuated around this $10 point as well.

iOS eCPM Rates in US (AdMob data)

Source: AdTapsy

Now it’s turn to review Android eCPM rates lowest and highest end. Among before mentioned six top ad networks, in July 2016 InMobi offered the lowest eCPM rates for Android OS, equaled to $1.25 per 1,000 mobile banner impressions.

Android eCPM Rates in US (InMobi data)

Source: AdTapsy

The highest end of Android eCPM belongs to AdMob ad network as well. As of July 2016, 1,000 mobile banner impressions costed about $6. Since April of 2015 to July of 2016 the Android eCPM rate is being fracturing around $5 point.

Android eCPM Rates in US (AdMob data)

Source: AdTapsy

Next up are ad rates of the biggest player in the mobile advertising market – Facebook. Facebook ads rates, just like with advertising in general, are tied to local economies and and a size of of local digital markets. Among a number of European, Asian, Latin and North America countries the highest CPM rates are in Sweden – $1.8, Denmark – $1.7 and Taiwan – $1.5.

2015 Facebook Ads CPM Rates, by Country

Source: eCommernceMILO

Now let’s analyze CPM rates for Facebook Ads in US for various industries, specifically CPG (stands for Consumer Packaged Goods), E-commence, Gaming, Retail and Travel. An average CPM all these industries equal to $7, with Travel  industry topping the rest, $8 per 1,000 views. The fact that E-commerce and Retail cost are almost equal reveals an overall trend – many retail companies are moving towards e-commerce and place ads on Facebook both ads for their physical stores and their online extensions. Given the fact Facebook dominates the advertising industry and mobile constitutes the bulk of ad spending, we can approximate this trend on mobile advertising as a whole.

2016 US Facebook Ads CPM Rates, by Industry

Source: Marketingcharts

There are 4 major mobile advertising formats marketers run ad campaign with – banner, interstitial, video and the recent addition – native. Each of these influence mobile users experience differently, Banner and especially Interstitial are more intrusive. The following graph presents data from multiple sources that stack up these four to each other. In 2016 an average rate for Banner format produced average CPM – $1.00, Interstitial – $3.5, Video – $3 and Native format lead the pack with $10 per each 1,000 mobile ad impressions.

2016 Worldwide CPM Rates by Format

Sources: Pix11Plus, MonetizePros, Quora

Final Thoughts

Mobile advertising eCPM rates are different for various industries, mobile OS, geo locations and specific mobile ad networks. The data revealed by top mobile ad networks shows the overall trend for eCPM to go down. Mobile internet ad spending continues to grow worldwide but with ever decreasing rate.