The Coming of Age for Mobile App Advertising in India

Post on December 21, 2020 by Emily Yri

Emily Yri Senior Marketing Director, APAC

Mobile app advertising is booming in India as consumers seek the latest information across the key categories of news entertainment, education, and ecommerce.  

With this in mind, our recent Virtual PubAcademy in India addressed the growth of mobile app advertising across the region, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mobile app spending, the rise of programmatic for mobile apps, and how publishers and advertisers are preparing for the future.  

The event featured Michael Tai, Account Executive, SEA, South Asia and ANZ at App Annie; Karthik Shankar, Senior Program Manager at Amazon DSP; Rita SahajpaulHead of Product & Marketing Science at Xaxis; and Anushrav Gulati, Head of Indirect Revenues at Times Internet. 

In his presentation on the trends shaping the app ecosystem in India, Michael Tai explained that the Indian mobile app ecosystem has been buoyed by consumers spending more time on their mobile devices: up 37% in 2020 to 4.8 hours a day. He also noted that as of the end of Q3 2020, India accounts for 18% of global mobile app downloads. The country is now the numberone global market for education-focused mobile apps, ahead of the US and China, Tai said.  

The panel discussed their perspective of pandemic’s effect on fluctuations in supply and demand of app inventory, and the implications for media buyers. 

Times Internet’s Anushrav Gulati said inventory skyrocketed in March when the pandemic first struck, with more than 50% growth in supply on their apps. He noted that things have since normalized, but they’ve sustained approximately 10% growth in supply, along with 10% growth in user time spent on the apps. 

Rita Sahajpaul of Xaxis said marketers should view the increased usage of mobile app in India as a rich source of data to better understand consumers. That can help lead advertisers to be more experimental with new mobile app features.  

Karthik Shankar from Amazon DSP said that with the plethora of supply in the market in India, now is the time for buyers to test retargeting, user acquisition, or trying out with new creative formats. He believes the excess of supply provides a great opportunity for buyers to differentiate through the tools mobile has to offer. “For a buyer its absolutely the right time to experiment, Shankar said.  

In the final session, PubMatic’s Harguneet Singh explained the benefits of header bidding for mobile apps and how it helps prevent leaving money on the table. He emphasized that app developers not using header bidding are at risk of losing out from structuring bids as simultaneous auctions, working with multiple demand sources, and not being able to make changes on the fly.  Through implementing a header bidding SDK, he noted his belief that developers see improved demand optimisation, increased fill rate, improved latency, and most importantly improved monetization.