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How App Developers Can Improve Inventory Quality & Measurability

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By Serena Palau, Director, Product Marketing
May 16, 2019

With projected in-app advertising spend of $77 Billion in 2019, according to eMarketer, and a marked increase in app engagement, brands and media buyers are shifting sizable percentages of their budgets to programmatic. In fact, in a recently commissioned study with Forrester Consulting, PubMatic found that just under 45% of digital advertising budgets are spent on mobile channels (including in-app and mobile web).

With this shift, there is a great opportunity for app developers to monetize their app inventory programmatically. However, there are buyer hesitations that limit the amount of their investment into mobile: namely around quality and measurability. In order to grow and succeed in the programmatic ecosystem, it is imperative that app developers understand what buyers and marketers expect from their partners to address these concerns.

While these suggestions are by no means comprehensive, they can serve to guide app developers who are looking to grow their programmatic revenue. The result will be improved monetization and growth in the demand of your inventory.

How to Improve Transparency with App-ads.txt

In-app advertising has brought new challenges in identifying and preventing fraud. There are now industry standards and providers that can help developers combat digital ad fraud and gain the trust of marketers.

One of the first measures of prevention should be the adoption of app-ads.txt. App-ads.txt, very simply, is the version of ads.txt for mobile in-app and OTT advertising. It relies on the publisher URL, available on app store HTML pages, as the crawler-friendly, trusted source and combats app spoofing.

The specification identifies four entities that play a vital role in enabling authorized digital seller validation on in-app inventory:

  1. App stores
  2. App publishers
  3. Sell-side platforms
  4. Authorized seller verifiers

To learn more about how to implement app-ads.txt as a developer, check out our implementation guide.

Improving Inventory Quality Beyond App-ads.txt

Beyond the adoption of app-ads.txt, you should pay close attention to traffic acquisition methods and work with third-party fraud detection vendors to quickly identify inventory that might need your attention. Additionally, we recommend focusing on the quality and user experience of your app so that it becomes a trusted source of content. Focus on building out a loyal audience to increase your brand advertising potential.

Further, make sure that your app is available from Android and iOS stores as they have basic requirements that differentiate their apps from other stores. Next, build out IQ policies to keep an eye on the quality of your inventory. And when, not if, fraud happens make sure to promote transparency to build that trust and long-term partnerships.

How to Improve App-Measurability & Viewabililty

Understandably, advertisers are looking to verify their ROI with cross-channel attribution and accurate measurement of audience reach and performance. Moreover, according to Forrester Consulting, media buyers say IN-APP viewability capabilities from an app publisher or developer are extremely important as 48 percent of agencies cited viewability as one of their biggest challenges. But, given deeper fragmentation of data and measurement standards within in-app, the areas of attribution and viewability measurement remains a challenge.

One of the best ways to address attribution and viewability concerns, plus improve monetization, is through an SDK. However, the fragmented data and measurement landscape has created a complex ecosystem where different SDK integrations are required to solve for attribution and measurement. And frequent updates to vendor SDKs that increase app-size also increase latency and instability.

The IAB Tech Lab released the Open Measurement SDK (OM-SDK) in April 2018 to address these concerns. The single, open source OM-SDK eliminates the need to add multiple measurement SDKs, while providing app viewability benefits for advertisers through their preferred measurement partners.

What’s Next?

While addressing quality and measurability will improve your programmatic opportunities, it is important to also have ad tech partners that will help you grow and increase your demand. To learn more about PubMatic’s OpenBid SDK technology and our mobile solutions for developers, contact us.