As more people consume content in mobile environments, particularly in app, it’s no surprise that mobile revenues are a rapidly growing proportion of publishers’ revenues. Still, mobile app CPMs are below publisher expectations, often commanding less than their desktop counterpart.
Our VP of Mobile Business Maggie Mesa delved into this topic at the IAB Programmatic Symposium earlier this week, along with Kavata Mbondo, VP of digital revenue strategy and operations at Time Inc. and Matt Minoff chief digital officer at Meredith Corporation. For those who weren’t able to attend, here are four key takeaways from the session.
Publishers can better safeguard their brand value by partnering with programmatic marketplaces that do not leverage arbitrage as a pricing mechanism.
One way to boost CPMs is by creating more competition for each impression, which can be done by leveraging a bidder for apps solution. Much like we’ve seen with desktop, implementing a “header” bidder in app increases competition and helps publishers obtain the true value of their inventory.
Even though the technology is still gaining steam in the mobile environment, at OpenX we’ve seen initial success among publishers — some seeing CPMs increase 26% upon implementing Bidder for Apps into their stack. To minimize the potential for integration and performance issues, however, publishers must seek bidder partners that have a reputation for being a strong mobile player.
Having keen insight into audience data is key to unlocking their value. Kavata emphasized that connecting various consumer touch points so that marketers can communicate in a singular way is incredibly powerful. That said, having a complete view of a user is not an easy feat for most publishers. Seek out mobile-minded data partners to improve cross-device ID reach and work with technology companies that offer guidance on best practices and technical solutions for enhancing bids with data.
Publishers must also consider their own data. Though walled garden environments and app-only companies have an immense trove of user behavior insight, premium publishers may have unique data that can be more valuable for specific cases. Marketers looking to target specific users lower down in the intent funnel can reach these specific audiences. For example, a publisher with several recipe websites may be able to offer a vegan food brand the ability target users who are known to visit weekly “meatless Mondays” columns.
Mobile presents a huge opportunity for premium ad formats and there is much room to grow beyond banner ads. Since there is no one size fits all solution for which ad formats work best in mobile, experiment with rich media, interstitial and video – particularly app-specific formats like rewardable video. Don’t be afraid to test out a few new things in order to find the right mix. Meredith embraces this approach by building mobile-first ads that strike a balance between creating an excellent user experience while also delivering high engagement for brands.
Finally, it’s important to work with marketplace partners that have rigorous quality protections in place for both traffic quality and ad quality. Publishers can better safeguard their brand value by partnering with programmatic marketplaces that do not leverage arbitrage as a pricing mechanism.
Mobile ads are currently under performing because they aren’t being optimized. Ultimately, the publishers that consciously approach mobile as it’s own platform, rather than just applying desktop strategy, will see more parity between mobile app and desktop revenues. As publishers become more mobile-minded, we expect this channel to become even more lucrative than desktop in the future, with higher yields for publishers and better ROI for marketers.
Read more about mobile monetization here: Strategic Opportunities Around In-App Monetization
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