Mobile rewarded video ad spend jumps 245% in H1 2019

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. September 5, 2019

Mobile eCPMs jumped 27% worldwide due to growing competition among app advertisers and users spending more time in-app, according to the latest report from Smaato.

In the US, eCPMs rose 33% during the first half of 2019. Rewarded video ad expenditure saw some of the steepest increases at 245% compared to the previous year. It’s easy to see why mobile users prefer rewarded video – it offers them greater control and provides something in return for their time. The majority of app users (76%) say that rewarded video made them like a brand more.

Native ad spend grew a whopping 211% and banner ads jumped 92%. The findings show that banner ads continue to be a cost-effective method for in-app advertising.

“In-app advertising is in extremely high demand globally, even in established markets like the US. It is telling that demand for rich placements like rewarded video and native advertising are soaring as consumers engage more with apps. However, we are also seeing increased demand for banners as well,” said Arndt Groth, CEO at Smaato. “This growth across the board shows that advertisers are moving to where they can best reach consumers — and that’s in-app.”

In-app advertising expenditure via private marketplaces (PMPs) increased 250% from H1 2018 to H1 2019. The app marketer noted that this trend is in line with predictions by eMarketer which suggests that PMPs will top open auctions in 2020 in the US.

Investment in PMP advertising is predominantly driven by healthcare, technology and food and beverage sectors. Although PMPs are less scalable than open auctions, advertisers are increasingly searching for brand-safe inventory.

Real estate, social, dating and sports apps saw some of the largest shares in ad revenue from PMP deals.

User data is making a big difference for advertisers as well as publishers. eCPMs for ad impressions with device ID and user age were 27% higher than those without. Where gender and GPS location data were also available, eCPM rose 117%.

Location data is becoming a key factor among retail marketers with 60% of retailers in North America planning to invest in location-based marketing in 2019.

The report also took a closer look at APAC in-app advertising trends. China is still driving much of the growth in the region, but New Zealand and Australia top the charts for eCPMs across APAC – being the two dominant English language markets.

The APAC market with the largest rise in video ad requests across the Smaato platform was India with 281% over the last year.

Overall, video formats had the highest eCPMs and engagement rates.