Mobile set to surpass desktop programmatic advertising

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 11 November 2014

Mobile is the new desktop in programmatic advertising with brands driving the spend, according to global mobile real-time bidding (RTB) ad exchange (SMX), Smaato.

Based on Smaato’s global mobile RTB Insights Report for Q3 2014, and according to projections from eMarketer, mobile programmatic spending is projected to surpass desktop programmatic advertising spend next year.

Smaato, which is globally connected to more than 337 demand partners (including more than 130 ad networks and 200 demand side platforms and trading desks), came to the conclusion after taking an in-depth look at worldwide exchange data, auctions, bids and impressions across Smaato’s SMX platform.

It said mobile programmatic spending has seen “phenomenal growth” over the last year, with programmatic spend on SMX growing by over 140% from Q3 2013. Australia accounted for one of the highest number of impressions (3.16 billion) in this most recent Q3 RTB report.

Speaking to AdNews on the new report, Jon White, the regional director and GM of inMobi in Australia and New Zealand, said: “There is definitely great potential in programmatic since many markets are leapfrogging directly to the mobile first way of advertising compared to how desktop evolved.

“Brands naturally want the buying efficiency to sink in faster. However the 'how' is still to be answered as compared to the 'why', and that will result in some gaps or delays on harnessing the potential. Inmobi is focusing on the how with our exchange proposition.”

Ad spend accelerates in CPG and automotive

Additional findings from Smaato’s quarterly RTB Insights report found that consumer products and goods (CPG) companies are the top spenders in mobile RTB advertising.

“The CPG category continued to dominate with 22% of the advertising spend in Q3 2014 – this is in line with last quarter’s trend with CPG hitting 25% in Q2 2014,” Smaato CEO Ragnar Kruse said.

“However, automotive, which previously didn’t make a blip on the SMX map, contributed to 6% of the advertising spend in Q3 2014, making it the upcoming publisher category to watch in the year to come with the highest jump in number of impressions this time around.

“Whether it’s consumer goods or automotive, this many categories vying for the top spot serves as proof that brand spending on mobile RTB advertising is here to stay.”

Kruse said RTB is making inroads in emerging markets too and that while the mature advertising markets of the US, Canada, and UK contribute to 72% of the total RTB advertising spend in Smaato’s SMX platform, the data in Smaato’s report shows that RTB adoption in mobile advertising is picking up pace in emerging markets.

Russia that had the highest growth in RTB impressions at 1305%, while South Africa saw the biggest increase in spend at 472%.

Taking control

The report also found that advertisers value 'anonymised user data', not just third party data.

“When app developers and mobile publishers provide user data like location, age, gender in a privacy-safe manner to bidding advertisers in SMX, the advertisers are willing to buy more impressions and pay more per impression, resulting in higher eCPMs and fill rates.” Kruse explained.

The RTB Insights report reveals up to a 100% increase in eCPMs and fill rates when app developers pass first-party data and take control of building their own first-party segments of data in Smaato’s publisher platform, similar to what has been successful for Facebook as a publisher.

“Our Q3 data quantifies the trend in mobile ad spend soaring worldwide,” said Kruse.
“The most successful advertisers are proving to be those who can harness and deploy ad spending data, whether it’s targeting certain categories or regions.”

The US-founded business, which operates in the US, EMEA and APAC regions, is a global mobile RTB ad exchange which helps mobile app developers and publishers increase ad revenues worldwide.

It works with companies such as online media network Komli Australia, which has offices in Sydney and Melbourne. It uses Smaato to run WAP mobile content campaigns through Smaato’s publisher network.

For more on programmatic:

Ex-Cadreon director set to tackle programmatic gripes

Australia is leading the world in mobile programmatic growth

Foxtel takes programmatic video advertising in-house

Starcom and Zenith to benefit from Publicis' first programmatic venture

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