Why mobile in-app advertising is the future

The Drum 06 Apr 2020 10:28
By Lashanne Phang-06 April 2020 11:28am

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

In this second part of a three part of series, PubMatic’s APAC in-app specialist Lashanne Phang looks at the mobile in-app opportunity for the buy side – what are the pros and cons of this format for buyers?

eMarketer projects that mobile ad spending will reach $400bn by the year 2023, up from $286bn this year.With numbers like these, it’s evident this growing format is here to stay. So what do media buyers need know?

Your audience is into mobile

Consumer time spent on media has already started shifting to mobile. By 2021 eMarketer predicts that users in China will spend more than 220 minutes per day on mobile, compared to just 141 minutes per day on TV.

And as we mentioned last week, the app is already ubiquitous in the mobile space; in their MMX Multi-Platform, Worldwide Rollup report released in June 2019, Comscore found that 75% of digital users consume all their social media, lifestyle, travel, news and utility content using mobile apps.

Device ID

  • Device ID has a longer lifespan (as long as that of the handset); hence the tracking and targeting of user is prolonged and could be more accurate with richer data collected over time.
  • Whilst not infallible device ID is generally unique to the owner of the device; so marketers can assume that they are likely to be targeting a unique individual.
  • Cross-device tracking becomes more complete with device ID – allowing marketers to identify users on mobile and connect those same users with data from their desktops and connected TV devices.
  • Location targeting becomes more far more effective and accurate.

Mobile in-app advertising is about to get a huge boost from advances with 5G.

These developments open up a raft of new opportunities for advertisers, giving them greater room for creativity, and opening the door for them to deliver high quality interactive ads onto mobile devices.



One example of this is using cookies to determine a target audience vs assessing the nature of the mobile application to identify a relevant mobile user (audience).


The problem is further compounded in certain markets across APAC by a preference for non-IAB standard ad-placements. For example in China, “splash” is a premium ad-placement. It is a full-screen ad placement that appears on the entire screen of the mobile device with a close button that appears 5 to 5 seconds after the app is launched. Although “splash” is a similar concept to an interstitial ad, it is not compliant with the standard IAB format. If an interstitial ad were to be served for this placement, it would likely fail to serve, or it would look distorted.

As the industry is moving towards better transparency, now is the time for media buyers to start taking advantage of the rich data points that mobile inventories can offer in terms of targeting, ROI and better ad experiences for consumers.

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eMarketerPubMaticLashanne PhangComscore
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