The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is always a great opportunity to get a preview of the year’s upcoming mobile technologies and spot the MWC trends that will impact the industry. Our experts at the conference scoured the exposition booths and kept their ears to the ground. They came back from the conference able to share the insights they gathered and create a snapshot of the industry as a whole. So what’s new? Check out these 5 MWC trends to watch for 2019!

Lots of 5G devices on display

5G’s arrival to the US and Asia this year will do a lot more than simply faster downloads and responsiveness for entertainment and gaming apps. The elimination of lag and improvement in connection stability will progress technologies like self-driving cars, augmented reality, smart homes and IoT interactions, that rely on immediate network responses.

The biggest 5G contenders at MWC: Huawei unveiled the new Mate X – it’s foldable… and looks like the future, Samsung showed off its Galaxy s10, Xiaomi flexed with the Mi Mix 3, LG flaunted the V50 ThinQ, and a few other brands trotted out prototypes, with a bit less info shared.

Advertisers are looking for Audio

Many conversations with marketers centered around programmatic audio inventory. The demand seems to be growing in step with the increase in mobile usage patterns. eMarketer reported that adults spend the largest share of mobile time listening to digital audio. Adults spend on average 35 minutes on apps and 21 minutes on mobile websites per day listening to audio.

Fraud conversations have matured

The topic of ad fraud dominated the mobile industry last year. Advertisers were becoming aware of the threat, scandals made headlines, and industry responded with educational talks and workshops on the subject. This year, however, the fraud conversation has matured. The focus is now on solutions, for instance, tools, tracking, and attribution technologies.

Adjust’s new impression tracking feature was another hot topic. The change will allow marketers to see the number of ad impressions, regardless of if there was a click attributed.

Programmatic has made it to Europe

Silicon Valley has always been quick to react to industry shifts; they were the first region to using mobile advertising, first to be affected by fraud, and first to widely adopt programmatic. This year at MWC, it was clear that the European market is ready to catch up. Conversations with leaders in the region centered around concerns for increased brand safety, transparency, and scale. Relying only on clean networks has become a bottleneck, and they want technological solutions. Several have already shifted to Cost Per Mile (CPM) business models, for buying playable, native and rich media ads

Headway launched new branding, new technology, and promoted the Mobile Masterminds Community

We can’t finish our recap of the MWC without mentioning Headway’s contribution! MWC marked the launch of our new branding, we demoed our mobile-first programmatic DSP Smadex, and hosted a party for the Mobile Masterminds Community. The community promotes collaborative conversations and insight sharing among leading mobile marketers.