Mobile is on track to level with desktop when it comes to global video ad spend, reaching 47% in 2018, up from 17% in 2017, according to the latest Quarterly Mobile Index by PubMatic.
Mobile video ads grew rapidly in APAC at a 10x growth rate, whilst the Americas doubled their mobile ad spend and EMEA grew 37%.
In-app video experienced real momentum and is now up 200% year-on-year accounting for almost two-thirds of all mobile video ad spend worldwide. This is partially attributed to in-app video providing better targeting (56%) and customer engagement (54%).
Overall, mobile ad spend grew 32% in Q4 2018 with apps still taking the majority share of impressions (54%), although mobile web is growing (46% year-on-year).
As Android battled fraud issues, advertisers have moved to iOS, which now represents 31% of the global in-app ad spend, up from 20% in 2017.
At the same time, header bidding is beginning to be embraced by publishers with a 76% adoption rate in December 2018 among the top 1,000 US sites for programmatic ads.
Mobile header bidding grew significantly in 2018, particularly in APAC (276%), followed by EMEA (191%) and the Americas (68%). Mobile devices are now representing 26% of all impressions coming from header bidding technologies.
PubMatic also noted that private marketplaces (PMPS) are becoming a more attractive platform for buyers to access audiences in-app. However, quality and brand-safety concerns are still topping the lists among brands and agencies.
Although Ads.txt has now been adopted 77% of the top 5,000 programmatic domains making open exchanges more secure, quality concerns are leading to a rise in PMP usage, particularly for in-app.
Among the top verticals for in-app PMPS were entertainment & leisure, finance and business, technology and news.