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Mobile ad rates are overtaking desktop

November 13, 2015 | Lucy Penn

Mobile ad rates are overtaking desktop

According to emerging data from PubMatic, publishers are beginning to succeed with their mobile advertising efforts and the ad rates are now starting to overtake desktop.

The report on quarterly ad rates suggests that mobile advertising is beginning to mature within everyday apps and across the mobile web. Rates appear to be higher and growing faster on mobile at 12% each year, compared to desktop with a yearly growth of 10%. Mobile CPMs were also a significant 34% higher than on desktop!

Jennifer Lum, the co-founder of mobile ad platform ‘Adelphic’, suggested that the growing mobile ad rates are a result of better user data. She said “Whether it’s location, behavioural data, or first-party [customer] data… Advertisers and agencies are starting to embrace more broad usage of data”. Brands are bringing the first-party data to their ad buying to target individual users, and the better the targeting, the more valuable the ad impression for publishers.

The report also advises that private marketplaces are also helping to push mobile rates higher, as they provide alternatives to open bidding and enable publishers to closely control their inventory. Although the cost per thousand impressions are five to six times higher when sold through private marketplaces, Lum observed “We are seeing pretty strong increases in demand for mobile private marketplaces”.

However, while the data and formats are improving, it would seem that publishers are still yet to be convinced of the value of mobile advertising. Warren Zenna, the managing director of the mobile media planning firm, Mobext, supports this view. He said “Clients don’t necessarily understand the role mobile plays in the life cycle of the consumer decision process.” Zenna observes that some advertisers are still stuck in a ‘banner-based world’, which doesn’t correspond to mobile. Others however, are starting to recognise the requirements for mobile optimisation – personalised content. It is recommended that publishers use one highly targeted ad opposed to twelve lower quality display ads that show on desktop. Zenna said “The smart publishers are putting up only one ad and charging a lot for it”.

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