COVID-19 Will Accelerate Digital Advertising’s Shift To Mobile: PubMatic

person using mobile application on smartphone, abstract close up of hands

Digital advertising’s revival from the recent downturn will be led by mobile, according to new data from PubMatic.

Released overnight, the Q1 2020 Quarterly Mobile Index shows desktop spend fell 25 per cent once COVID-19 hit, while mobile dropped 15 per cent.

While both took a significant hit, the fact mobile has been less impacted by the pandemic will only accelerate the shift from desktop to mobile, said PubMatic SVP of corporate development and general manager of mobile Paulina Klimenko.

“Coronavirus has shifted consumer behaviour towards mobile. As the economy recovers, advertising will follow, giving publishers with advanced mobile advertising capabilities an advantage,” Klimenko said.

“While recent surges in viewership will likely recede through the summer and as stay-at-home orders ease, the preference for mobile will remain, which will drive advertisers to mobile over the long term.”

Despite the dip in advertising revenue, mobile usage continued to rise during the period.

The average user will spend 4 hours and 18 minutes a day on their mobile phone, according to PubMatic, marking 10 per cent growth over the last year.

Mobile’s ‘fortitude’ has been attributed to the surge in app usage.

In APAC specifically, mobile is at the “forefront of its road to recovery”, given the intensification of content consumption and web traffic.

“As ad spend is gradually rising in APAC in tandem with its rehabilitation, mobile is the shining star in its path to recovery — both mobile platform spend and impressions are higher than pre-impact levels and last year by the end of Q1,” the report says.

Those that have continued to advertise have create significant shifts in the programmatic market.

In-app PMP ad spending expands advertisers swung budgets to in-app PMPs, away from open market, In-app PMP spending nearly doubled in each region.

Mobile in-app PMP volume rose 65 per cent during the pandemic while desktop PMP volume fell 20 per cent and in-app volume in the open market fell 15 per cent.

“The downturn that we are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 presents app-developers with a unique opportunity to review their mobile advertising set-ups to improve upon inefficient auctions and to push for more transparency and accountability with partners. To reduce fraud risk inherent in in-app environments, app-developers should also consider the benefits of offering PMP buying to advertisers,” said Klimenko.

“Making these improvements now will offer publishers the greatest opportunity for strategic growth in the coming months.”


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