One topic we frequently discuss with publishers is the process of testing a new monetization partner. At our LA Monthly Meetup last month , several developers asked if it was better to wait until later in the year to test new demand sources. There seems to be a first quarter dilemma; the risk of negatively impacting an established monetization strategy is greatly reduced, but there is increased worry about launching a test during a soft market and seeing poor performance.
A specific group of publishers expressed a desire to add MoPub Marketplace , our real-time bidding exchange, into their waterfall. While excited about the upside of RTB, they also want to have realistic expectations.
To address these concerns, we looked at the first month of 2013 and compared it to the tenth month of 2012. As you can see, the ongoing rise in first quarter spending appears to be an extension of the upward trajectory in mobile RTB. If the increased spending was only seasonal, we would expect to see activity regress to early Q4 levels, but that is clearly not the case.
This positive trend is not isolated to MoPub Marketplace. An informal survey of ad network partners connected to MoPub’s SSP platform also indicates this growth trajectory. To us, these data points strongly support the premise that investigating new monetization strategies now is very worthwhile.
We do want to note that it seems unreasonable to compare a Q1 test to December activity, but looking at October, a Q4 average, or even comparable benchmarks to this time last year can offer solid guidance on expected performance during the ‘high season’.
To close with terms that seem regionally appropriate for today’s Monthly Meetup in Seattle , think about the high water mark from Q4 as indicative of the larger sea change in mobile monetization; that tide is still coming in.
The first quarter is a great opportunity to begin gauging the partners that will best buoy returns in more aggressive markets. Borrowing a line from one of our enthusiastic engineers: “It has to be MoPub, and it has to be now!”
If you haven’t yet, make sure you download our Q4 Marketplace Report here .