Publishers are investing more in mobile advertising, but industry has still some way to go in overcoming pain points

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. September 6, 2016

81% of UK publishers are planning to invest more in mobile advertising over the coming 12 months. That’s according to new findings from AOL which surveyed over 600 mobile publishers on the issue. The research found that publishers were planning to sell 53% of their inventory programmatically and just 47% directly.
Among the biggest issues marketers are facing with private exchanges are technological deficiencies and issues with direct sold and open exchange sold inventory. That’s a clear sign that the mobile advertising market is moving towards a more technically-driven and data-heavy approach.
PMPs not working perfectly
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According to the publishers, video ads will be their top revenue driver (20%) over the coming 12 months, followed by display (16%) and native ads tied with sales of user data at 12%. When it comes to video, better quality content, loading times and ad personalisation were found to be key in driving the format’s success.
What’s driving revenue
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With the steep rise in mobile advertising, marketers aren’t shy to invest. Over the coming 12 months, 81% of UK publishers are likely to invest more in mobile campaigns. Only an average 5% are about to invest less.
Publishers invest more in mobile
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Among the biggest opportunities for publishers with mobile advertising are faster loading times and more interactive ad units. Publishers also find that mobile web content and customisation could help drive their mobile campaign success. However, ad blockers have been worrying many in the industry (55%) and the quality of the consumer experience continues to be an issue for most publishers (45%).
Mobile opportunities and challenges
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Whilst 44% of publishers are satisfied with current analytics tools, 48% say they would like to see more cross-device monetisation analysis. Another 46% are keen on revenue metrics and consolidated data from ad servers and SSPs are also of value (41%).
Analytics capabilities or tools which would be valuable
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Undoubtedly, first-party data is another important area for growth among most publishers. The larger the publisher – the more likely they have access to their own platforms.
Whilst header bidding is a newer practice among publishers, 43% of them are currently using header bids to optimise their campaigns. Another 46% are interested in using the technology.
Header bidding
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Most publishers are receiving a quarter to half of their traffic from partner distribution platforms. In the US slightly more publishers are seeing traffic come from partners than in the UK.
Traffic from partners
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Whilst the results of this research paint a slightly more fragmented picture of the mobile advertising market with publishers torn between an incentive to invest more heavily in mobile advertising, but a lack of suitable technologies and measurement tools, the discrepancies are likely to narrow in the future as new technology offers sought-after innovation.