- Mobile advertising spend surged by 71% worldwide in the second quarter from a year earlier as marketers sought to reach consumers who spent more time on their smartphones during pandemic lockdowns. Q2 ad spend on mobile devices was 8% higher than in Q1, per a study by sell-side platform PubMatic.
- While mobile advertising fell after the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, it recovered more quickly than desktop advertising, which grew by 2% between Feb. 26 and June 24 on private marketplaces (PMPs). In-app ad spend soared 391% during the period, outpacing the strong 52% gain for the mobile web.
- The growth varied by region, with the Americas seeing a 77% gain in mobile ad spend in Q2 from a year earlier, faster than the 62% jump for Asia-Pacific (APAC) and 61% increase for Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA). On a quarterly basis, APAC showed the fastest growth of 30% from Q1, compared with 7% for the Americas and 3% for EMEA, as the APAC region recovered earlier from the pandemic, PubMatic said.
The jump in mobile advertising since the outset of the pandemic reflects an increase in mobile usage among consumers who used their smartphones more often while stuck at home during the health crisis.
Advertisers increased their spending through mobile header bidding in programmatic auctions by 20% in Q2 from a year earlier, pushing its share to 59% of total header bidding. In-app placements drove much of the increase, rising 26% from a year earlier, ahead of the mobile web's growth of 18%, PubMatic found.
The company cited other research to highlight several trends in mobile usage that affect how marketers reach consumers. Mobile users are engaging with a wider variety of apps than they have in the past, with the top 10 game and non-gaming apps having a smaller share of total usage this year than in 2016, according to App Annie data cited by PubMatic.
The wider engagement may indicate that consumers have discovered other ways to use their smartphones while stuck at home, such as mobile banking to manage their money while branches were closed or to participate in videoconferencing calls while working from home. The wider app usage also means that consumers are less dependent on a handful of apps that carry advertising, and that marketers need to adjust their ad spending accordingly.