Native ads featuring branded or sponsored content are driving better engagement rates on smartphones and tablets than desktops, according to data from Polar and BI Intelligence. Based on Polar network data of 18bn+ native ads across 5,000 branded content programmes including publishers such as AOL, the data reveals that CTR for native ads reached 0.38% on smartphones in 2015, compared to 0.33% on tablets and just 0.16% on desktops.
Premium native ads yield better CTR on smartphones
In the US, average CTR rates for premium native ads on mobile devices were 4x higher than those of non-native display ads. Banners, rich media or sponsored ads are lacking the editorial look and feel of premium native ads, generating an average CTR of just 0.08% between September to December 2015.
With mobile, video and social ad spend on the rise, marketers are moving more strongly towards digital versus traditional ads. Mobile is likely to drive much of that spending on video, search, display and social over the coming years.
BI Intelligence predicts mobile revenue to rise by a CAGR of 26.5% to 2020. Mobile search revenue will overtake desktop by 2019 and search ad spend rising by 25.2% CAGR.
However, there are challenges remaining, particularly within mobile programmatic advertising. According to mobile marketing firm glispa, scale is a problem and premium native ads aren’t being served programmatically, whilst in-feed native ads are.
Robert Wildner, VP Media Operations, glispa, adds:
“[Native advertising can be a] time-consuming process which needs to be repeated for each platform. […] The number of players in the mobile advertising market can be confusing, and the various different platforms, systems, publishers and advertisers has also led to difficulty in establishing standards due to a number of reasons.”
Whilst a standard has been presented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the form of a Native Advertising Playbook, it’s more likely that advertisers are adopting Facebook and Google native in-app ad standards for now, due to the dominance of the platforms.