Mobile ad units
Creativity Marketing Transformation

Pressure Is on to Standardize Native Ads on Mobile, Data Shows

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Mobile advertising is an increasingly popular channel for brands hoping to reach consumers across multiple channels, with global mobile ad spending more than doubling in the past year.

According to new figures from eMarketer, global mobile ad spending increased 105 percent to total $17.96 billion last year. In 2014, mobile is on pace to rise another 75.1 percent to total $31.45 billion, making up approximately one-quarter of total digital marketing ad spending across the globe. A growing percentage of this spending goes toward exploring and experimenting with native ads, or ads that are woven organically into other content.

According to a study by OpenX in partnership with Digiday, 82 percent of ad buyers and 83 percent of ad sellers report that their usage of programmatic channels in 2013 was higher than it was in 2012. Both native ads and pre-roll video content saw an incremental rise in spending last year, and the study suggests similar growth will occur over the next 12 months.

When looking at native advertising in terms of how it impacts growing mobile traffic, buyers and sellers of native ad units recognize they must implement a system to measure the results of sponsored editorial content as well as native ads hosted on publisher sites. The report shows that there is disagreement on the importance of measurement formats, with buyers focused on time spent on content and conversions. Sellers, meanwhile, are interested in traditional metrics such as page views, impressions, and unique visitors.

“Exploring the perspective of buyers and sellers at the intersection of programmatic and mobile is a natural progression from our Programmatic + Premium study in 2013,” said Rob Kramer, OpenX’s general manager of mobile. Mobile is rife with hidden potential, he added, and budget dollars will pour in that direction once the industry learns how to standardize formats, develops targeting in the way it has done display ads, and figures out how to measure ROI.

The birth and maturation of native advertising comes at a time when mobile has reached its tipping point. The OpenX study and eMarketer’s estimates of mobile ad spending prove that developing a systematic approach to buying and selling mobile native ads is a top priority for today’s industry innovators.

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