Mobile Advertising Trends to Look for in 2020

Mobile advertising grew to surpass desktop advertising for the first time in 2017 and will make up a staggering 75% of all digital ad spending by 2022. With 5G networks already gaining traction in certain countries and privacy regulations continuing to tighten, 2020 will be a critical year for the industry. In this blog post, we cover a few of the most important mobile advertising trends that will shape the landscape in the year ahead.

The Continued Growth of Mobile and In-App Ad Spending

Advertisers will continue to shift away from desktop to reach users on mobile devices, with apps representing the majority of this focus. US mobile in-app ad spending is expected to reach $73 billion in 2021.2 At the exact same time, mobile programmatic video advertising will continue to grow, with US marketers expected to spend more than $24 billion on mobile video.3 Ad agency Zenith believes mobile ad spending will account for over 30% of global advertising expenditures this year — not just digital.4

In-App Header Bidding Is on the Rise

An increasing number of cellular programmatic transactions are shifting towards a setup that mimics the header bidding system of desktop advertising. With header bidding, publishers offer their stock to multiple demand partners concurrently, as a means of eliminating the”waterfall” approach that has limited competition and prevented revenues from reaching their full potential. With in-app header bidding, transparency within the cell advertising ecosystem is expected to increase, and demand partners will get more equivalent bidding positions within real-time auctions.

Throughout 2019, the industry saw a rising number of solutions designed to woo mobile and in-app publishers apart from the traditional palaces. While there is currently no single in-app header bidding solution that entirely addresses all market needs, we expect to see this change in the year ahead.

Since the mobile advertising ecosystem has matured, viability is now a critical metric for both advertisers and publishers. Last year, one specific viewability project made all the headlines: the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK.

The Open Measurement SDK (OM SDK) eases third-party viewability and verification measurement for mobile apps without requiring multiple confirmation vendor SDKs. There are numerous advantages for all parties within the mobile in-app ecosystem, for example:

Publishers: Easier integration and fewer maintenance efforts
Ad buyers: Viewability measurement is more accessible
Viewability vendors: Equal data accessibility to all sellers improves accuracy
Measurement, with viability in focus, will continue to be of great significance in 2020. Since its announcement to the general public, the sell-side has been rapidly adopting the OM SDK.

Increased Privacy Awareness

With the implementation of this General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in ancient 2018, among the most challenging eras in recent advertising history started. Since that time, a number of different data security and privacy regulations have come into effect. The scale of available data has dropped in many parts of the planet, causing concern among advertisers. But many argue that the quality of information has since improved, leading to more effective targeting. In the year ahead, marketers will have to continue adjusting their strategies for the way they acquire and use data.

Connected TV Goes Programmatic

The rise of connected TV (CTV) opportunities for advertisers in 2020 has become a popular topic of discussion. Historically, CTV ad buying has become a fragmented and relationship-based process for both advertisers and content providers. With much more momentum behind connected TV platforms, this is not a situation that we expect the market to bear for long. In 2020, industry players will proceed to build setups that facilitate the widespread adoption of real time bidding for CTV inventory.

2020 will be an exciting year for cellular and in-app advertising, and these trends provide a flavor of the strides forward that we can expect the business to take. Marketers seeking to follow the wave of consumer behaviour into the mobile ecosystem should observe these areas closely.

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