How COVID lockdowns affected mobile programmatic advertising

COVID-19 lockdowns had a dramatic effect on ad impressions, eCPMs and ad spending, as a new report from PubNative shows.

The mobile monetisation firm compared programmatic advertising in Q1 and Q2 2020 and found that impressions rose sharply for book and messaging apps. Sports apps also performed well but eCPM prices dropped across all three categories.

Meanwhile, music, finance and gaming apps saw notable declines in impressions, but eCPMs increased for the latter two.

The music app category saw a decline in impressions and eCPM in Q2 which is likely due to lockdowns coming to an end.

Both dating and social apps grew impressions and eCPMs towards the end of June again compared to March as lockdowns eased.

The data focuses on four core markets including the US, Canada, Brazil and Japan.

In Brazil, finance apps peaked in April in terms of conversions, while restaurant and transportation apps slumped in the US at the end of Q1 because people were unable to leave their homes.

This had an effect on location-based marketing.

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