At PubMatic, we have terabytes of data running daily through our platform, SEVEN; analyzing this vast data set has allowed us to identify key trends in mobile advertising that can help publishers and advertisers alike unlock the power advertising automation for the mobile channel. Our Q1 2017 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report confirms that as consumer behavior continues to shift toward mobile-first browsing, mobile advertising remains a massive opportunity for both buyers and sellers for digital media.
The three most significant findings of the report include the rapidly expanding mobile footprint of the growing header bidding market; increased opportunity from private marketplaces (PMPs) as brand spend shifts to programmatic channels; and a renewed mobile advertising order where app impressions stand equal to their mobile web counterparts.
Coming on the heels of an explosive year for mobile web header bidding impressions in 2016, the technology continued in a steep growth trajectory. Our most recent analysis shows the number of mobile web header bidding impressions monetized through the PubMatic platform jumped 12X YOY in Q1 2017. In the opening three months of 2017, mobile was far and away the engine of header bidding growth, with the channel expanding at three-times the pace of overall header bidding impression volume. Crucially, the fast-paced volume expansion in mobile header bidding did not impede eCPMs from improving handsomely at a 55% YOY rate.
Indeed, header bidding technology is evolving beyond the header this year, as evidenced by recent announcements from PubMatic and others about in-app, server-side and video header bidding solutions, an evolution that should enhance the technology’s impact on publisher monetization strategies throughout 2017.
The Q1 2017 QMI study also found that advertiser concerns around inventory quality and brand safety, coupled with an increasingly mobile-first consumer base, continue to attract interest toward mobile PMPs, a channel particularly well suited to address this conundrum. Our study found that monetized mobile PMP impression volume rose 68% YOY in Q1 2017 with eCPMs improving 58% in the same period. In addition, mobile PMP garnered 3X higher eCPMs than those of overall mobile programmatic ads. We anticipate continued growth of this channel as more brands employ programmatic buying strategies for their ad budgets.
While the above trends showcase enhancements to publisher efficiency and monetization efforts, the report also found that the wider mobile landscape experienced rapid change in the past year. Perhaps the most important of all was the vanishing in the volume gap between mobile web and apps as the share of monetized mobile impressions served via mobile apps jumped from 27% in Q1 2016 to 49% in Q1 2017, proving the potential of the app market for publishers other than the major social networking apps. However, at the same time, the eCPM premium paid for app inventory shrank to 15% in Q1 2017 (down from 93% a year prior), showing that mobile web continues to provide significant monetization opportunities.
All six key findings from our latest Quarterly Mobile Index are available in the infographic below, and you can download the full report by clicking here. Be sure to check back in a few months for our Q2 2017 Quarterly Mobile Index.