How far we have come: 2015 highlights

Thursday, January 14, 2016
By: Elain Szu

From record-breaking spend on in-app advertising to exciting new ad formats, 2015 was a year of milestones in mobile advertising. And at MoPub, we worked to bring our customers better performance, greater efficiency, and invest in world-class experiences for both publishers and demand partners. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from 2015.

Highlights from 2015 at MoPub

Can’t view the video? Go to MoPub 2015 Recap

In thinking about the challenges that our customers face in 2016 and beyond, it’s important to take into account how much mobile advertising has changed — and how we’ve evolved with it — over the last five years.

1. Mobile apps are here to stay. According to Nielsen , over 70% of mobile phones were still feature phones when MoPub was founded in the fall of 2010, shortly after Apple released the iPhone 4. At the time, most publishers were still betting on the mobile web as the primary platform for content. Today, apps lead consumption on mobile, with the average US consumer spending 198 minutes per day in mobile apps (vs 22 minutes on the mobile web ). When we introduced our open source SDK, it was with apps in mind, and over 99% of our publisher inventory is from mobile apps. Going into 2016, we’re excited to continue investments to build the best platform possible for mobile app monetization and publishing best practices for app developers .

2. Mobile advertising has fully embraced programmatic. When we launched MoPub Marketplace in October 2011 , programmatic exchanges in mobile were virtually non-existent. Most app publishers were still working solely with “black box” ad networks, leading to inconsistent revenue, little transparency into pricing or the ad creatives their users would see, and few controls that matched the needs of a mobile world. Just four years later, MoPub Marketplace alone supports over 335 billion monthly ad requests, representing over 1 billion unique devices, and 175 DSPs – and programmatic spend has shifted, with estimates that 60.5% of US programmatic spend in 2015 is on mobile.

3. Mobile-first ad formats are standardized across the industry. Five years ago, most ad formats used in mobile apps were still based on desktop ad experiences. As recently as 2012, the in-app ad experience for users was still dominated by banners. In 2013, MoPub set the standard for native ads in mobile apps by introducing the first programmatic solution for native ads , as well as the first mediation platform for native ads , enabling publishers to derive revenue from networks like Facebook Audience Network and Yahoo! Gemini.

4. Programmatic buyers have customized tools and solutions. As recently as 2014, DSPs buying mobile app inventory on exchanges had to manually manage much of their traffic and lacked a clear view into bidding issues. In 2015, we launched a self-service interface for demand partners buying mobile inventory, the MoPub Demand Platform . This improves buyer efficiency and advertiser ROI with controls and tools that were previously manually optimized, driving better results for buyers, and more revenue for publishers on Marketplace.

5. All publishers can access high quality, relevant demand. Five years ago, the total spend on mobile advertising was $790 million. Publishers who wanted to access much of this spend either had to have large-scale sales teams or a prominent cross-screen brand. Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub was a key development that gave many publishers access to unique advertising dollars including social budgets, creatives, and high-quality campaigns from prominent advertisers running campaigns on Twitter . Coupled with our efforts to drive more demand on MoPub Marketplace, we also saw a shift in brand spend to mobile publishers on MoPub earlier in 2015, connecting publishers to the highest value advertising sources without additional resource investment.

So what’s next? Our commitment to publishers and demand partners to advance the mobile advertising frontier remains the same. We look forward to powering the revenue strategies for publishers for this year and beyond, and continuing to build the most trustworthy monetization platform in mobile advertising.

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