Mobile advertising trends and predictions for 2017

Much has happened within mobile advertising in 2016. From adblocking to social media heavyweights solidifying their mobile ad products to new cross-channel attributions and improved location analytics technologies. The digital media industry has once again proven its fast pace and 2017 promises to be another exciting year.

Here are our top predictions for mobile advertising in 2017!

1. Video

Online video has had a good year. Indeed, more consumers are turning away from traditional channels such as TV and toward their mobile devices to catch on-demand video or view shorter videos. Video consumption as measured in time spent daily is on the rise and predicted to continue to grow in 2017. That offers some unique opportunities for advertisers, including more dynamic and interactive formats.



In addition, mobile video advertising spend is projected to grow significantly next year, from $4.35bn in 2016 to $6.72bn in 2017. And that growth is unlikely to stop any time soon, but continue into 2018.

US mobile video ad spend continues to grow



2. Header bidding

Header bidding has fast become one of the most talked about new technologies this year. It’s essentially a more advanced form of programmatic bidding and lets publishers implement a header bidding SDK or javascript code to their app monetisation SDK. Demand partners can then evaluate the inventory and bid on it. The result is expected to produce an increase in eCPMs and revenue for the publisher inventory.

For publishers, this means they get to see the true value of an impression whilst buyers get a better overview of what inventory is available.

Header bidding is the new kid on the block in 2016



However, there are some potential dangers with header bidding. Maor Sadra, MD at Applift believes that the technology could potentially be disastrous for programmatic. Where programmatic tries to bring order, header bidding adds chaos. He writes:

maor sadra

Header bidding allows publishers to offer inventory on multiple exchanges rather than filtering demand through a single stream. Most DSPs are connected to most of the leading exchanges. If a DSP registers the same inventory from four different exchanges, it is going to bid the same price across all four, potentially increasing its price.

Though controversial, it is unlikely to stop anyone from employing header bids right now.

3. Chatbots

Chatbots aren’t exactly new, but they’ve certainly hit momentum in 2016 and are likely to carry this over into the new year. WeChat has been a prime example of the trend. The Chinese app has offered retailers and service providers the opportunity to integrate chatbots early on, which has led to WeChat fast becoming more than just a messaging app. It’s now also a marketplace.

Only this year, Facebook finally followed and rolled out chatbots for the Messenger app. Between the launch in April and July 2016, 11,000 bots had been added to Messenger. By September 2016, that figure had jumped to 30,000 bots. The social media giant also added a feature to let consumers rate a chatbot. In addition, Messenger bots now also accept payments natively.

Facebook rolls out chatbots in 2016



Advertising within messaging apps can help secure a better consumer-brand relationship. Given its personalised nature, it can aid in establishing trust with consumers.

The rise of the bots is in line with the growth in mCommerce. Mobile shopping offers distinct advantages such as on-the-go shopping, fast checkouts, comparisons whilst in-store, but also loyalty programmes and special offers. US retail mCommerce sales are projected to hit $151.1bn next year.

mCommerce on the rise



4. Interactive, Dynamic and Immersive Advertising

From 360 degrees, to haptic to augmented reality – interactive mobile advertising formats are on the rise. Boosted by this year’s success of mobile game Pokemon Go, 2017 will likely see additional immersive ad formats that make the advertising experience a more exciting one for the end user. For example, Snapchat added 360 mobile video adverts to its offering in August this year, following similar products from Google and Yahoo. Augmented reality and similar formats have one great advantage – they’ll get users to spend more time with a brand.

And it’s about time. Mobile ad blocking has made some serious advancements this year. According to Tune research, 24.6% smartphone users in the US and UK have already installed ad blockers, whilst 21% weren’t sure. It’s no secret that the advertising industry will have to offer less intrusive, but also more dynamic and personalised advertising content if it wants to entice consumers to stay away from ad blockers. If the experience is great – there should be no need to block the ad.

Mobile ad blocking on the rise



5. Native advertising & branded content

Native advertising isn’t done yet. Indeed, the format is steadily eating away at non-native mobile display’s advertising share. Though overall growth has slowed, native will make up 57.4% of worldwide mobile display advertising in 2017.

Native unstoppable 



Additionally, native video ads have seen greater brand lift compared to pre-roll video ads and are generally seen as more integrative and less intrusive according to the consumer (44%). Native mobile ads also increase brand awareness and are better for engagement.

Benefits of mobile native ads formats



Overall, 2017 is likely to be an exciting year for the mobile advertising industry. Emerging and existing technologies will continue to grow and expand their reach to improve the mobile ad experience and offer a true alternative to the threat of ad blockers.