Everyone knows that the Q4 holiday season is a busy time for marketers—but the focus is often solely on the shopping that occurs before the December holidays. Savvy mobile marketers should take into account that consumer engagement can actually increase after Dec. 25. In fact, we’ve seen mobile device usage and engagement increase during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, compared to the week before Christmas.
In this post, we’re shining a light on the trends we saw a year ago, in December 2014, on our MoPub Marketplace, which now represents over 31,000 active mobile apps, more than 335 billion monthly ad requests, over 1 billion unique devices, and 175+ demand-side platforms.
First, device usage. In 2014, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the number of devices reached globally by our Marketplace increased by an average of 12.5%, compared to the week before Christmas. A possible explanation for this jump? Many people give and receive new mobile devices as holiday gifts — and holiday vacation time is the perfect time to play with their new devices. Specifically, iPhones increased by 6.1%, Samsung smartphones by 12.1%, and iPads by 35.6%. The iPad released in fall 2014 was a particularly popular holiday gift last year. The top ten countries with the highest percentage of mobile device increases for Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, 2014 were the US, Greece, Hungary, Ecuador, Ireland, Peru, Guatemala, India, Colombia, and Chile, respectively.
But are people truly engaged while they’re spending time on their phones and tablets post-holidays? Clickthrough rates indicate that in 2014, the answer was “yes.” CTRs the week between Christmas and New Year’s were on average 11% higher, globally, than CTRs the previous week. In addition, eCPMs were an average of 5% lower during this time. These lower eCPMs may indicate an opportunity for DSPs to round out their Q4 spend by reaching similar or new users at lower price points during this period. The combination of new uniques, higher CTRs, and lower eCPMs may be particularly attractive for performance buyers. Last year, we saw brand spend overtake performance spend on the MoPub Marketplace in the week before Christmas. The week following Christmas may be the right time for a shift from brand to performance-dominated spend.
The takeaway? Q4 doesn’t end on Dec. 25! Last year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day presented an opportunity for marketers to reach an increased number of devices and engaged consumers at lower eCPMs. We’ll see if this year shows similar trends.