Since the dawn of the Internet, digital advertising has been one of the major engines that drove its growth. In the year 2008 digital advertising began its transition from desktop to mobile, which lead to advertising in apps and then ultimately to the rise of the mobile in-app advertising industry. The general trend of the last several years has been that people spending more and more of their mobile tine in apps and not in a web browser. Following this trend, mobile advertisers and publishers have been focusing on running ad campaigns inside mobile apps to find new app users and maximize their revenue respectively.
Running mobile ad campaigns, one of the crucial pieces of information that mobile advertisers need to know is – what is an average CPM? In other words, how much do apps make from ads? How much should I expect to earn running ads inside my apps?
CPM stands for Cost-Per-Mile, which is a techy way of saying Cost-Per-Thousand or Cost Per Impression. On one hand, it tells the advertiser how much a thousand ad impressions in a specific mobile app costs, and on the other – the publisher knows how much revenue she or he can generate with every 1,000 impressions he serves for an advertiser. In cases when advertisers run ad campaigns based on multiple business models as once – CPI, CPL, CPM, CPC, another benchmark becomes handy – Effective Cost Per Mile or simply eCPM. To calculate it the following formula is needed:
Where total cost is how much money was spent on an ad campaign and impressions – how many ad views were generated. In a sense, eCPM serves as a common denominator when advertisers need to assess overall effectiveness of their ad spend.
Among all digital ad metrics – CPM, CPC, CPA, the last one is the most valuable to mobile advertisers, it stands for Cost-Per-Action because it measures a cost of a specific action that people take with a digital product. But yet for mobile publishers, CPM has been The metric, because while running campaigns based on this model, they are being paid for how many times ads were shown inside their apps and so they shouldn’t be concern about if people actually take any action as a result of seeing those ads.
Mobile advertising rates vary per industry, ad format, ad delivery channel, geolocation, mobile OS, device type, physical location, time of day, time of year, and more. In this guide, we want to bring up the industry statistics to highlight average mobile ad CPM and eCPM rates for various channels, industries, and locations, as well as mobile advertising spendings. Each advertising platform is unique at what eCPM it’s capable to provide and so we’re going to explore one of the dominant platforms and for doing so will cover Appodeal eCPM rates.
Key Mobile Ad Rates data points
- 2021 global mobile advertising spending – $288 billion
- 2021 US mobile advertising spending – $117 billion
- 2021 Google’s advertising revenue – $209 billion
- 2021 Facebook’s advertising revenue – $114 billion
- 2021 average Facebook CPM rates – $15
- 2021 US iOS Rewarded Video eCPM rate – $12.6
- 2021 US Android Rewarded Video eCPM rate – $13.1
- 2021 global iOS Interstitial eCPM rates range – $2.27 – $9.64
- 2021 global Android Interstitial eCPM rates range – $3.01 – $10.11
- 2021 global iOS Banner eCPM rates range – $0.16 – $0.38
- 2021 global Android Interstitial eCPM rates range – $0.16 – $0.52
Having these mobile advertising revenue data points in hand, let’s dive into what mobile ad spending looks like and analyze data collected for the last several years.
Top Mobile Advertising Companies
Let’s begin with setting up the stage and covering mobile advertising spendings over a period of time globally, as well as limited to the US market.
Mobile Ad Spending
According to Statista, globally mobile advertising spend rose from $198 billion in 2019, followed by $227 in 2020 to $288 in 2021. Since the inception of a modern smartphone back in 2007 and the launch of app stores in 2008, online commerce has been rapidly moving towards mobile and hence these ad spends just reflect the scale of this shift and underscore the fact that all digital advertising innovation has been happening on mobile as well.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in early March 2020, it drastically shook up the entire digital advertising world, as well as predictions and forecasts for its growth over time.
US Mobile Ad Spending
In October of 2020, eMarketer released an update for its March 2020 US Mobile Ad Spending forecast. According to the forecast, mobile adverting spending in the US was supposed to reach $105 billion for the entire 2020, but by October 2020 it turned out that it actually was only $96 billion.
Because of the pandemic, a lot of companies pulled out their ad budgets and stopped advertising in the spring of 2020 and partly in its summer, and only when the US began to re-open its economy in summer, businesses began to invest back in adverting, mobile advertising included. The waves of COVID-19 cases worldwide caused multiple lockdowns throughout 2020 and 2021, in 2021 we see a similar picture when the figure predicted early 2020 – $123 billion in actuality will most likely be only $117 billion.
By 2024, according to the original forecast from the March of 2020, the US mobile advertising spending was supposed to hit $174$ but the new projection only speaks about $167 billion but of course, it remains to be seen what the actual number will be.
US Mobile Advertising Spending, 2019-2024 ($billion)
Obviously, mobile advertising is just one branch of the entire advertising business. It’s useful to put it in perspective and compare it with other branches. Looking at the advertising on a select media two years ago, we see that in 2020 the mobile was roughly speaking twice as big compared with TV, $113 billion against $70 billion spent on advertising on TV. And it dwarfed the other contenders such as radio with only $15 billion, $13 billion on print, and spending on other branches is even more modest.
US Ad Spending on Select Media, 2020 ($billion)
Since the inception of the modern smartphone era, there has been a gradual but steady growth of how much time people spend with their mobile phones, which lead to finally spending more time on smartphones than on the previous media king – the TV. This shift has been on the radar of online advertisers and it lead to also gradual transition of online advertising budgets from the desktop to mobile.
Looking at the following data compiled by Statista for the 2018-2023 period, we see that in 2018 mobile ad spending was only 48% of the total online ad spending, and this year it finally matched the desktop ad spending. Following the current trajectory, it’s predicted that by 2023 mobile advertising spending will reach 51%.
Online Ad Spending
Global online ad spending desktop vs mobile percentage, 2018 – 2023 (%)
Data for how much money are spent on mobile advertising in a particular year reflects on the size of this country’s economy and how healthy it is but the dynamic of year-over-year growth or decline brings up a picture of how fast mobile penetrates different branches of this country’s economy.
From 2013 to 2018 mobile ad spendings in the US grew six-fold, from $10 billion to almost $58 billion and, according to Statista, to $130 billion in 2020. During the same period, China has been holding second place in terms of how much businesses spend on mobile ads. Back in 2017, the Data.ai’s 2017 Retrospective white paper reported that China became the number one country in terms of mobile app revenue, it’s a matter of time when it surpasses the US in mobile ad spendings as well. China is also the fastest-growing mobile ad spending player among other countries, growing from about a billion dollars spent on mobile ads back in 2013 to almost $41 billion in 2018 and, according to the Statista’s forecast, to reach $100 billion by 2023.
Global Mobile Advertising Spending, 2013-2018, by country, ($billion)
Putting things in perspective always helps to see a broader picture and appreciate dynamics for real. In January 2021, Dentsu Aegis Network digital marketing agency published a report that covers the dynamics of spending on major advertising formats and compares estimates made before the COVID-19 pandemic hit (January, 2020) and after (January, 2021).
So what do we see? The biggest growth, no surprise here, in 2019, as well as in 2020 was Social Media with almost 27% in 2019 and about 14% in 2021. The second spot belongs to Paid Search, which is obviously being dominated by Google Ads and Facebook Ads. On the other hand, Online Video got really hit in 2020, which originally was estimated to grow about 15% but in reality dropped 2%. As to what is projected on 2022, again Social Media should gain about 17%, followed by recovering Online Video.
Growth in digital advertising spending worldwide 2019-2022, by format, % y-o-y
|Display||7.9||-3.0 (8.6)||8.1 (9.7)||7.2|
|Online Video||16.0||-2.0 (14.6)||10.8 (13.5)||11.5|
|Social Media||26.9||13.9 (19.8)||18.3 (16.4)||16.6|
|Paid Search||9.8||10.1 (8.4)||11.0 (9.3)||8.7|
|Classified||4.0||-4.0 (4.1)||3.5 (4.2)||4.1|
Sources: Dentsu Aegis Network
For the last 10 years mobile app industry has been under the control of the Apple – Google duopoly, for mobile advertising there is another duopoly of Google and Facebook. In 2016 US digital tech giants and smaller companies generated about $47 billion, 31.5% of which belong to Google and 22.5% to Facebook.
In 2017 Google gained about 1% and Facebook grew faster with over 2%, reaching 32.4% and 24.6% respectively. All other companies on this table had, have, and projected to have less than two digits in the future. According to the forecast, by 2019 US mobile advertising revenue will reach $82 billion, almost double of the 2016 number, with Google having almost 34% of the total and Facebook around 27%.
US Mobile Ad Revenue percentage, by company 2016-2019 (%)
|Total in billions||$46.7||$58.38||$70.05||$82.31|
For years the mobile advertising industry has been driven by two dominating players – Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Hence information about the ad spend on these major platforms is essential to get a comprehensive view on the mobile ad rates.
According to Statista, in 2021 Google’s total advertising revenue was $209 billion, how much of that sum was generated on the mobile side is unknown, but certainly it constituted the bulk of the figure.
During the course of last year, the other part of the mobile advertising duopoly – Meta (former Facebook) has managed to generate $114 billion against $84 in 2020. Despite all troubles Meta got into – like being a social media vehicle for election meddling, spreading disinformation, society polarization and more , the company continued to climb up financially.
Top Mobile Advertising Companies
- RevX - Made for Growth, Built for App Marketers
- Adsterra Network - Well-Known Mobile Ad Network with Partner Care Approach
- Smadex - Transparent DSP Engineered for Growth
- AdMaven - The Ad Network For publishers and advertisers
- Smaato - Omnichannel, self-serve monetization solution
- Start.io - Reinventing Mobile Marketing
- Moburst - Mobile Done Right
- mFilterIt - Eliminate invalid traffic from your app campaigns running on biddable and non-biddable platforms for both performance and brand campaigns
- Adikteev - Data-driven app marketing platform
- AdsCompass - Global Ad network for Publishers and Advertisers
- Virus Positive Technologies - Protecting Brands & Affiliate Networks from frauds
- Performcb - #1 Performance Marketing Network Worldwide
- AdAction - A full-service ad platform that connects mobile marketers to high-intent users worldwide.
- MAAS powered by Affle - Unified Audience Platform for Mobile User Growth
- AppsFlyer - Mobile marketing attribution and analytics
- Hitapps - Expert in digital advertising and app development since 2017.
- JustControl.it - Get Your Digital Marketing Under Control
- Bidease - #1 DSP for mobile app marketers
- Aarki - Elevate Your Mobile Marketing
- ClickAdilla - Ad Network Premium Traffic
- URLgenius - Codeless App Linking and QR Codes
- Adlane - Ad Network for Publishers and Website Owners
- Zoomd - Know More, Do More
- Entravision - Entravision is the leading Performance One-Stop-Shop Digital Marketing Company
- Singular - The unified marketing analytics platform
- InMobi - Driving Real Connections
- SocialPeta - Ads Intelligence Tool For Marketing Strategy
- Adjust - Mobile Measurement Partner
- Kevel - Build a custom ad server in just weeks.
- myAppFree - High Quality Mobile Traffic & Exclusive Placements on SONY Xperia, Native SDK
- HUAWEI Ads - Mobile Marketing Platform tailored for HUAWEI devices
- Doble Via Latam - Best Performance Agency
Facebook CPM Rates
Now let’s look at the Cost Per Mile rates for Facebook Ads from early 2020 to April, 2022 timeframe. The CPM has been on a bumpy road from roughly $11 per 1,000 views back in January, 2020 to $8.8 in March of the same year – this was the first month of the pandemic and it was the time when advertisers were pulling their ad budgets, freeing the space and driving the Cost Per Mile down. Facebook CPM rate began to climb back in August, 2020 and shot up to ~$17 in December – an expected spike for a regular year on the holiday season but it was really uncertain if it would happen again during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fast forward to November, 2021 – the Facebook Cost Per Mile reached new high – $17.6 and April of this year it slid down to $12.4.
US Facebook Ads CPM Rates, 2020-2022 ($)
There are number objectives that advertisers may aim to achieve running their Facebook Ads campaigns, but we can single out the major three – Traffic, App Installs and Video Views. You can see the trajectory for these three on the graph below. Once again all spikes and dips you can see can be explained by how COVID-19 pandemic was influencing the market at any particular month throughout this period. In January 2020 CPM rate for traffic was about $3, by September of this year it climbed to $10.4 and right now in October it’s already following – $7.8 and by April, 2022 it’s came back to roughly the same figure – $7.6.
App Installs went from $8.3 per in install back in January 2020 to the lowest point in April 2020 – just $4.9, hitting maximum this June – $17 per app install, and as of right now in October, it’s $13.3 per install. As of April, 2022 app install rate on Facebook Ads dropped to just $4.9 per install.
Video views cost $3.3 per 1,000 views back in January, 2020, went to the lowest point in January, 2021 – $2.9 and this October it is $4.2 per 1,000 video ad views. By April, 2022 1,000 views of a video ad cost only $4.
Average US Facebook CPM by campaign objective, 2020-2022 ($)
Android and iOS eCPM Rates
Let’s switch gears and talk about eCPM rates for major advertising networks. But first, let us remind you what the eCPM term stands for.
The difference between CPM and eCPM is that CPM (stands for cost-per-mile or a cost of 1,000 impressions) defines how much ad impressions are valued before an ad campaign takes place. On the other hand, eCPM is calculated by advertisers after ad campaign is finished and regardless of what buying model was used – CPM, CPC, CPA to get a holistic view on their ad budget spend efficiency. Due to some over- or under delivery by the ad network or the publisher, an eCPM price may vary from a CPM rate.
So now the question is – what is the average eCPM? To answer this question we’re going to review the research conducted by Appodeal ad mediation platform. It covers data from December 2021 to March 2022 and based on the tens of millions data points from the pool of the 70 leading ad networks. The research includes data points from a broad spectrum of countries but we’re going to analyze information only for the set of 6 major markets – US, UK, Australia, Japan, China and Brazil.
First up, let’s look at the iOS Rewarded Video eCPM rates.
It comes as a little surprise that the United States mobile advertising market is still number one in scope and the level of pricing. For US advertisers the cost of 1,000 Rewarded video ad views has been fluctuating from $15.6 in December 2021 to $12.6 in March 2022. For the rest of the markets we analyze here things aren’t that straightforward – there is no clear number two, three and four, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia have interchangeably occupied these places. China and Brazil are the bottom of the list with eCPM rates changing within $2 and $5.
iOS Rewarded Video eCPM Rates, by country 2021-2022 ($)
Generally speaking, the Android eCPM rates are in the same ball park as its iOS counterpart. During the period the benchmark was measured, Android mobile advertisers were paying from $14.2 to $13.1 per 1,000 views in the United States. On the UK market the Android eCPM rates varied from $7.1 at the end of 2021 (think the holiday season that naturally drives ad rates up) to $5.8 in January and $10 in March of 2022. Contrary to the US and United Kingdom, Brazil’s eCPM rates for Android were roughly static – around $1.5.
Android Rewarded Video eCPM Rates, by country 2021-2022 ($)
When it comes to the Interstitial ad format, the one that allows advertisers to place a dynamic mobile ad to cover the entire host app’s interface, the rates are lower because, comparing with the Rewarded Video, this one has a lower CTR and hence it’s less valuable to mobile advertisers. In the US, advertisers were expected to pay afterwards from $10.3 in December 2021 to $8.9 per 1,000 Interstitial ad views in March of 2022. The UK’s eCPM rates were twice as lower, hovering around $5.5 – $6 per 1,000 views. Followed by Australia and Japan were ad rates were between $6 and $8 per 1,000 views.
iOS Interstitial eCPM Rates, by country 2021-2022 ($)
The Android Interstitial eCPM rate is higher. Here, if you ran an Interstitial ad for your Android app in the United States last December, you effectively paid $13.3 per each 1,000 views and this March-April – only $10.2. Across the pond in UK now in April be ready to pay $5.2, which is down from $6.5 last December. $8 for an Android mobile advertising in Australia, down from $9.4 in December 2021. If you happens to be promoting an Android app in Japan, it would cost you $5.8 per 1,000 views of an Interstitial ad, which is slightly down from $6.1 last holiday season. The Interstitial eCPM rates in India is a completely other ball of wax, this March 1,000 views cost just $0.5, which is barely different from $0.6 you would pay last December.
Android Interstitial eCPM Rates, by country 2021-2022 ($)
And finally let’s take a look at eCPM rates for iOS apps, specifically for the banner format. By now it’s been proven for a number of years that among all mobile ad formats banner is the least effective one and yet it is still available and there is still a demand for it. So it absolutely makes sense that generally speaking the banner eCPM rates hover below $0.5. In the United States 1,000 banner views cost $0.24, down from $0.37 last December. The United Kingdom and other countries on the list banner eCPM rates are even lower, hovering below $0.21 in UK, $0.27 in Australia, $0.20 in Japan, $0.15 in Brazil and, finally, $0.08 in China.
iOS Banner eCPM Rates, by country 2021-2022 ($)
The Android side of the banner eCPM rates looks really similar to its iOS counterpart, the difference in prices is on the scale of just few cents. The United States is on the high price end of the banner eCPM pricing spectrum with up to $0.70, the UK effective CPM rate is within $0.25 – $0.35 range, app marketers in Australia paying $0.36 – $0.48, in Japan $0.14 – $0.17, in India – $0.05 – $0.07 and $0.13 – $0.15 in Brazi.
Android Banner eCPM Rates, by country 2021-2022 ($)
Mobile advertising market is mature and has been one of the major sources of digital publishers revenue, as well as instrumental for advertisers to reach their audiences. Mobile ad spendings have been substantially growing over a period of the last five years and will continue to grow as mobile continues to conquer more and more businesses worldwide.
Mobile ad eCPM rates vary by industry, mobile OS, geo location and specific mobile ad network. Between Android and iOS mobile platforms, the latter tends to generate more income for publishers.
Facebook and Google together control the major part of the mobile advertising market and this status quo won’t likely to change anytime soon.