The majority of brands (77%) have now asked their agencies to invest in in-app inventory according to a survey by tech company Fyber among ad agencies and brands.
Both UK agencies and advertisers are now spending the majority of their ad budgets on mobile, according to the study.
Among the main reasons for investing in in-app ads, respondents reported the format to be more reliable than mobile web browser ads. A third of respondents also cited improved engagement as a core reason.
At the same time, targeting features are also better for in-app ads and campaign ROI can improve by 41% according to some media agencies and brands.
“Mobile devices are the consumer’s primary means of access to the Internet, and close to 90% of time on mobile devices is spent in apps, so it’s no surprise that the mobile in-app inventory is of growing interest to media buyers and brands,” said Yoni Argaman, SVP for Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Fyber. “It’s gratifying that agencies and brands are reporting better targeting capabilities, an issue that has long stymied ad spend in the channel. And with higher ROI and engagement levels, media buyers now regard in-app inventory as a key conduit to their target audience.”
Gaming apps lead when it comes to investment return with 60% of respondents finding that both scale and reach were preferable, while 59% also mentioned engagement and prime reason for choosing game apps over others.
78% of brands have already placed ads in game apps and that number is predicted to rise over the next 12 months with 91% of media agencies and 87% of brands planning to invest in the category.
However, more than half of agencies are also happy to include fashion and retail apps as part of their in-app targeting strategy.
Furthermore, playable ad formats (32%), rewarded videos and opt-in (28%) formats are seen as the most effective.
The findings also mean that in-app inventory will take a higher share of the overall ad spend with in-app inventory accounting for 43% of digital ads budgets, up from 34% this year.
However, just 22% of UK buyers have invested more than 50% of their ad budgets in in-app ads, whilst just 32% include in-app in 50% of their plans.
Similar to advertisers, buyers are turning to games as their predominant choice for in-app advertising.