The Future Of Mobile Adtech: Industry Expert’s Thoughts

5 min read · 7 years ago


The mobile advertising ecosystem is a complex landscape with many different actors and that is what makes it so interesting. Over the past years the industry has evolved and has become more and more sophisticated. Funding is pouring into the field which makes us wonder: what is the future of advertising technology? This question is especially relevant right now as the year 2015 will be a pivotal one in the adtech industry for a number of reasons. First, mobile ad spend is finally catching up with the time consumers spend on their mobile devices and will constitute for the majority of digital ad spending, topping $100 billion worldwide. Second, programmatic mobile video advertising will mature and see great increases in spending and leaps in measurement capabilities. The latter will become the focus of the mobile adtech industry in general. Sound performance tracking is essential in earning the trust of advertisers. Capabilities in mobile data analytics will play a critical part as it is used to optimize campaign effectiveness as well as to combat fraudulent ad activity.

Here at Personagraph, we are building these capabilities in mobile user understanding to improve mobile advertising. We see that people increasingly spend time in apps (rather than in mobile browsers) which increases the need for reliable data on users since cookies have only limited functionality. Moreover, given the fact that mobile devices are very personal to people and often contain private and personally identifiable information, privacy is of the utmost importance. We’re seeing a trend towards a higher awareness on privacy issues among people, especially after the Snowden revelations and recent attention to the expiration of the Patriot Act in June. In Europe this trend is even stronger visible and the European Commission is sanctioning Google, Facebook, and others that breach data privacy laws. The adtech industry has a responsibility to consider the interests of different stakeholders and respond to these issues to find a balanced solution.

As people spend more and more time online on their mobile devices and the amount of smartphones owners surpasses 2 billion by 2016, it’s safe to say mobile is here to stay.

What do other industry leaders think is coming next?

Besides these global trends, we wanted to know what industry leaders think will happen specifically in 2015. We therefore reached out to some adtech industry experts to give an insight into what they see will be the key trends of 2015. Here is some of what they had to say:

Ryan Weber, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at NativeX, sees two major trends in mobile advertising this year:

  1. We expect to see users gaining more control over their video ad viewing.

    The simple value exchange video ad (when the user is rewarded with virtual currency or in-game items for watching a video) has proven strong for freemium games and apps. We expect this trend to continue. However, the ways consumers interact with video ads will increasingly vary by publisher segment, as ad units become more native to the user experience. We predict a stronger engagement when consumers have more control over the types of ads they view, and when they are given a choice of which video to watch for their reward. We expect this will lead to an increase in different types of video ad units optimized for various publisher segments.
  1. We believe that we’ll see more experimentation with mobile device capabilities in 2015 from the ad tech industry such as use of the calendar, storing a picture in the user’s photo roll, etc.

    More and more inventory is beginning to support MRAID (Mobile Rich-media Ad Interface Definitions), enabling mobile ad inventory to make use of native app capabilities on the device, and so it’s reaching critical mass as a standard for which ads can be distributed. For example, the vast majority of our NativeX inventory now supports MRAID, compared to two years ago when none of it did.”

Chen Levanon, CEO of Clicksmob, sees parallels between the maturation of mobile adtech with the growth of the Internet in the late 1990s:

“The concept of Internet growth can be applied generally to the world of mobile, except that everything is sped up. What took 10 years to mature on the Web takes only a few years in the mobile industry. ”

She also firmly believes in the dominance of mobile as the go-to platform for advertisers:

“Essentially, as smartphones become more accessible across the globe, mobile will become the platform of choice for advertisers as they will be able to reach the global population where it matters most: in the palm of their hand.”

As data analytics improve, programmatic ad buying will rapidly become the dominant platform and a shift will occur in what is measured as a success outcome:

“In addition, advertisers will focus more on performance and they will be ready to spend more money on actions and not only on installs.”

Levanon found these five trends to be most prominent in mobile advertising this coming year:

  1. There will be more cost-per-acquisition (CPA) campaigns than cost-per-install (CPI) campaigns and advertisers will be looking for more meaningful events; not just an install but also a deposit or a purchase.
  2. Popularity of location-based advertising is on the rise and will continue to climb, becoming a preference for advertisers.
  3. Video will become even more essential. Recently, many of our clients have started promoting their apps using video. The results have been very effective because the users viewing them are essential to their businesses.
  4. Tailored and personalized ads. In order to get the quality users advertisers want, a focus on a target audience is required.
  5. Focus on optimization. ClicksMob opened its sales team six months ago with a focus on optimization.  Having knowledge of a high volume of existing, quality traffic sources is key to knowing which are the best and which campaign to match them with.”

How will the industry evolve? 

From these expectations it becomes clear that there are a ton of things happening simultaneously in adtech and every company is trying to jump on the bandwagon to snatch a piece of the pie. Significant consolidation is expected to take place as the big firms swallow the little ones to gain the scale and momentum that is needed to keep up with competition. Advertisers will be able to reap the benefits by the gains in efficiency that the unified platforms offer relating to programmatic buying, performance analytics, and fraud prevention/attribution. Overall, the maturation of the industry will be good for all (surviving) parties that are able to meet the increasingly higher demands of advertisers, privacy advocates, and of course consumers.

It’s an exciting time to be in adtech and we’re thrilled to lead the way with sophisticated and privacy friendly solutions for user acquisition, engagement, and monetization for app publishers this year.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Future Of Mobile Adtech: Industry Expert’s Thoughts

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