GDPR stifles growth of mobile ad requests in EMEA, new report finds

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. September 10, 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had a significant effect on mobile ad requests in the EMEA region where overall growth for the first half year of 2018 was just +23% compared to +101% in APAC and +181% in the Americas. According to a new report from Smaato, the slowed growth can be attributed to a disruption in ad impressions.

Following the introduction of the GDPR in May 2018, supply in non-targeted inventory went down, whilst demand shot up leading to higher eCPMs. Across the Smaato platform, non-targeted impressions in the Americas jumped 59% following the GDPR taking effect.

Meanwhile, ad expenditure for GDPR-complient ad impressions continues to increase as more publishers are gaining consent.

Ad buyers have also begun to work more closely with publishers to adjust their buying methods from open auction to private marketplace (PMP). The initial hike in demand for PMP deals in the EEA resulted in the average eCPM growing 266% on the Smaato platform.

“Smaato has seen a dramatic increase in the scale and demand for mobile advertising in the first half of 2018, even in light of the new European data privacy regulation (GDPR) shaking up the mobile advertising industry,” said Smaato CEO Ragnar Kruse.

The report also mobile time continues to be spent predominantly in-app which has led to a rise in app spend. Roughly 95% of mobile ad spend in APAC is now going to apps.

The region also dominated in terms of global app downloads as well as consumer app store spend.

At the same time, retailers are beginning to trust the mobile ad landscape a little more, arguably due to improved viewability and measurement tools. Mobile ad expenditure by retail brands increased 114% on Smaato over the first six months of 2018. Retail was also a core driver of app categories including sports, weather, health & fitness and social & dating.

Although Android devices dominated the number of ad impressions, they still generate less revenue than iOS on an individual user basis. Indeed, iOS accounted for just 22% of impressions, but made up 31% of all ad spend.