In-App Programmatic: What It Is, How It Works And Why It’s Taken Off

Businessman using tablet payments online shopping with speed icons customer and data network connection on virtual screen.

From hailing a ride to finding a date, it’s all about apps in 2019. With advertisers now recognising this massive market, in-app programmatic advertising has emerged as a way to help both publishers and advertisers truly scale.

“In-app programmatic advertising automates the process of buying and selling in-app inventory,” Smaato CPO Freddy Friedman tells B&T.

“Publishers set their campaign parameters, such as target audience, location, maximum prices, and so on.

“The programmatic process then automatically pairs advertisements with the ad spaces that fit their guidelines.”

It’s a market that’s growing at an “incredible pace”.

Research suggests there was a 27 per cent increase in mobile ad requests in 2018. This figure was 44 per cent for APAC.

In India, this figure was a whopping 425 per cent.

It’s growth that can ultimately be tied back to the rapid rise of mobile since 2010.

Dubbed ‘Queen of the Internet’, American venture capitalist Mary Meeker recently revealed the percentage of time spent on mobile had jumped from eight per cent of total time spent on media in 2010 to 33 per cent in 2018.

With this has come an increase in ad spend devoted to mobile — up from 0.5 per cent in 2010 to 33 per cent in 2018.

Friedman says that as well as an increase in the amount of time users are spending on their phones, the number of overall app downloads is also resulting in an increase in mobile app requests, particularly in the APAC region.

“Many popular apps are homegrown in the APAC region and tailored to the local audience, which helps drive further mobile ad request growth,” he says.

Forget the waterfall

Friedman’s company Smaato works specifically in the field of in-app header bidding, which he says can “puts all advertisers on equal footing in the programmatic auction process”.

“Header bidding has existed for years on the web, both mobile and desktop, but hasn’t come to the in-app space — until recently,” he says.

As well as evening out the auction process for advertisers, Friedman says in-app header bidding removes the outdated ‘waterfall’ method of auctions — also known as daisy-chaining — whereby a publisher passes its inventory from ad network to ad network in descending order of importance until all impressions are sold, impacting the revenue of the buyers on the lower level of the waterfall.

Header bidding, on the other hand, brings all buyers together simultaneously and allows them to bid on available inventory at the same time.

“Without header bidding, offers are left on the table and publishers miss opportunities to get the most out of their ad space,” Friedman says.

“In-app header bidding is a huge opportunity for the entire industry.

“It brings greater transparency and improved results to everyone involved in the in-app advertising space.”

Less ad fraud

Like anything, the rise of in-app programmatic has come with growing pains, particularly when it comes to transparency and safety.

But the upside is that apps are ultimately less prone to ad fraud than mobile web, to the tune of 25 per cent according to Smaato.

“One of the main reasons why mobile web is more prone to ad fraud is its similarity to desktop web,” says Friedman.

“Due to their similarities, scammers are able to exploit both mediums utilising the same tools.

“Apps, on the other hand, possess a completely different architecture, so those same methods won’t work.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

ad fraud in-app programmatic Programmatic smaato

Latest News

Bangkok Thailand - August 31 2017 Facebook App on iPhone with computer laptop background closeup male hand hold social network on smart device concept.
  • Media
  • Opinion

Young Australians Will Abandon Facebook If It Doesn’t Do More To Combat Hate Speech

In this guest post, founders of The Daily Aus Sam Koslowski and Zara Seidler discuss why in order to stay in the game and keep its user, social media giant Facebook needs to do more to combat hate speech… For young Australians, Facebook is on the decline. Unless the platform better responds to its user’s […]


by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign
  • Media

Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign

A brave move has paid dividends for Baskin-Robbins Australia who recently announced they won the award for Best Digital Initiative at last week’s QSR Media Awards. Baskin-Robbins Australia’s Master Licensee, Palm Oasis Ventures took a risk in launching a digital winter campaign targeting a new millennial and Gen Z demographic when it partnered with Netflix to launch season 3 of the streaming giant’s most popular show, the sci-fi horror series, Stranger Things.

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)
  • Media

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)

TikTok has turned on Trump once again. As yet, no one brave enough to speculate it's the work of the Chinese government.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA JULY 1, 2018: Entrance to Adobe San Francisco office location in historic Baker and Hamilton warehouse
  • Media

Convert Digital Awarded Adobe’s Magento Gold Status

Leading eCommerce website development agency, Convert Digital, has achieved the coveted Magento Gold Status from Adobe. This accomplishment has been reached following the agency’s continuing work with the Magento 2 platform - platform that is incredibly robust and offers unrivalled flexibility and scalability.

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent
  • Campaigns

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent

Influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent has partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to mobilise their talent roster and support the Stream Raiser campaign, contributing over $95k in donations thanks to virtual fundraising efforts.  With a combined reach of 6.2 million across Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, 9 Australian influencers contributed 76% of the $124k raised […]

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream
  • Advertising

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream

In 2020, the ‘new wave’ of youth consumers have inspired the world with their activism and fundraising, so eGEN is proud to have partnered with UNICEF, Loserfruit and friends to help gamers fight COVID and help the world’s most vulnerable children. The world’s most famous strawberry will be joined by her Click crew for a […]

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation
  • Media

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation

Silverbullet Data Services Group (Silverbullet), has become one of only four businesses globally to achieve Adobe Specialisation in EMEA for Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Specialised Partners are acknowledged as the most skilled technical practitioners throughout the global partner ecosystem. Specialisations are earned after organisations achieve a level of certified expertise in an Adobe solution and […]

Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Technology

General Mills Partners With Zyper To Build Virtual Superfan Communities

Food company General Mills has partnered with Zyper, a marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans, to build virtual fan communities for General Mills’ brands. As part of the agreement, General Mills will use Zyper’s software to initially identify the Betty Crocker and Fibre One brands’ top one per cent of fans on social […]

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia
  • Technology

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia

Facebook is continuing its Facebook Australia Groups Impact Fund, today announcing $500,000 in funding for the program. The grant was originally designated for bushfire recovery groups, however, has now been extended to local communities across the country who might be facing hardship. Facebook said it is on the lookout for groups that have a positive […]