The use of header bidding for mobile web has been growing steadily according to new research from automation solutions firm PubMatic. The Q3 2016 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report found core trends in programmatic mobile advertising measured over the last 12 months across the company’s revenue management platform, SEVEN.
eCPMs sold through private marketplaces (PMPs) were up 200% compared to the overall average mobile eCPM during Q3 2016, with APAC regions noting the greatest variance and eCPM exceeding the average for mobile web by 800%. Mobile PMPs rose 30% year-on-year and much of that can be attributed to a new level of comfort with programmatic among marketers.
Certain categories such as entertainment and leisure publishers noted greater lift at a 300% increase compared to Q3 2015. Whilst real estate, sports and automotive saw triple digit spikes in mobile web eCPMs. Some of the biggest fears in programmatic are still the quality of inventory and transparency of sources. However, as advertisers demand for improved transparency, viewability and quality across their ad transactions, mobile PMPs should provide an even greater opportunity in the future.
Programmatic CPMs on mobile – global/APAC and by category
A second core trend identified by PubMatic is header bidding. Overall, it was found that 70% of US publishers have adopted a header bidding strategy and much of the worldwide growth is driven by mobile web. Mobile web accounted for a fifth of impressions transacted via header bids in Q3 2016. That’s an astonishing increase of 14,000% year-over-year. Last year, the US accounted for 100% of mobile header bidding impressions. In 2016, it has fallen to 82% as EMEA represents 17% and APAC 1% of the share.
The pay-off from such implementations is huge with mobile impressions sold through header bids receiving almost 50% higher eCPM than the average. New buying tactics involve better opportunities for DSPs to bid on high-value audiences they target, which improves the advertiser campaign performance.
Mobile web header bidding on the rise
Meanwhile, retail publishers noted a 230% increase in mobile web inventory during the back-to-school season. The share of total retail inventory accesses via mobile web rose by 203% between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016. This may be due to consumers being expected to spend 11% more on back-to-school retail in 2016, but also 30% of eCommerce sales now happening on mobile devices. In addition, half of parents plan to research their purchases for the season on smartphones.
Retail publishers can rest assured that opportunities on mobile will continue to grow as more and more consumers turn to their smartphones and tablets. According to estimates, 46% of smartphone owners now purchase goods on mobile devices.
Retail Publishers are noting the change towards improved mobile web eCPMs
The last trend PubMatic identified is the shift in consumer behaviour toward app usage. Mobile app eCPMs have risen 16% year-on-year and are now 60% higher than mobile web eCPMs. App impressions were up 10% and app inventory is on the rise as advertisers demand more precise targeting features including location, device and audience frequency.
Mobile web eCPMs increase twice as fast as mobile app eCPMs over the 12 months measured at a growth rate of 32% compared to 16% on mobile apps. Brand advertisers are seeking content that is more widely available on mobile web compared to mobile apps. With programmatic gaining popularity among brand advertisers and consumer behaviour shifting toward mobile internet usage, premium publishers will see a growth in value from their mobile properties. As such, PubMatic recommends they partner with experts in the field.
Mobile app eCPMs now 60% higher than mobile web eCPMs