The Rise of Mobile Web and In-App Header Bidding

Post on March 1, 2018 by Amanda Binns

Amanda Binns
Regional VP, Customer Success

eMarketer predicts that by 2019, programmatic mobile display spend will reach $36B, a landmark opportunity for publishers. This growth has been slowly ramping up in the EMEA markets, in particular, with a marked increase of mobile device penetration. As mobile spend has grown, so has the technology used for advertising.

PubMatic found in our recent Quarterly Mobile Index that mobile web header bidding impression volume, in particular, grew in APAC with a 43X YOY rise in 2017, followed by 4X YOY growth in EMEA. While this growth may not come as a shock to publishers, the key trends in this growth present new opportunities.

Two trends I want to specifically focus on are the growth in mobile web header bidding and the rise of the in-app header bidding.

Mobile Web Header Bidding Trends

PubMatic reported in our recent Quarterly Mobile Index that header bidding matured in 2017 as monetized impression volume grew over 200 percent YOY. This growth in header bidding improved digital advertising monetization as the benefits of the tactic spanned across verticals, devices and regions worldwide.

Mobile-friendly publishers took the opportunity as a chance to grow as our analysis shows the mobile share of header bidding impressions grew faster than desktop.  The volume of impressions monetized via header bidding through PubMatic grew 162 percent year-over-year worldwide in 2017. This includes annual volume expansions of 244 percent for mobile web and 148 percent for desktop.

We expect header bidding to remain a central part of programmatic strategies in 2018 as the technology expands to video and in-app environments thus continuing to lift eCPMs as publishers escape the waterfall to unify their demand sources. To learn more, check out our interactive digital report.

What’s Next for Mobile? In-App Header Bidding Emerges

As successful as mobile web header bidding has been thus far, there is still more to come with mobile—specifically, with in-app header bidding. In fact, just last month the Prebid mobile- Android and iOS open source repositories were released on Git Hub.

Mobile in-app header bidding offers many key benefits including transparency, reduced latency and improved user experience. Not to mention a more efficient integration for publishers.

An important and necessary benefit of in-app header bidding will be more transparent auction dynamics. Thus far, mobile app publishers have been subject to the traditional tag-based waterfall approach for monetization which leaves many impressions unsold or undervalued in a non-transparent environment. Mobile app publishers will finally be privy to fair and transparent auction dynamics which should ultimately result in increased monetization.

Secondly, in-app header bidding, with server-to-server integrations of 3rd party demand, will enable publishers to simplify execution and streamline management of demand partners. Publishers will be able to more easily add and remove demand partners without making changes to the app code.

Finally, in-app header bidding will result in an overall improvement to user experience. The user experience is critical to retain engaged and high-value users. By eliminating the waterfall and moving the auction to a server-side integration, latency will be greatly reduced.

Want more info?

It’s an exciting time for header bidding as the in-app solutions are expected to reach critical mass. Publishers can expect header bidding to extend to video and native soon so the opportunities are continuing to grow.

For more information on how PubMatic’s OpenWrap works with server-to-server and in-app header bidding, contact us or learn more about how we can help today.