The holiday season is coming. How should publishers prepare to approach this opportunity in the most lucrative way?
For the last several years, we’ve seen increases in mobile programmatic spend during Q4, especially around the holidays. This overall increased demand from advertisers has historically driven up competition, and therefore increased eCPMs for publishers. As we’ve discussed before , it can seem like a no-brainer for publishers to sign seemingly lucrative guaranteed deals with advertising partners to lock in some of this seasonal spend. In reality, locking in deals ahead of time may cause publishers to miss the chance to capitalize on even more lucrative programmatic spend that flows through exchanges in Q4.
Here’s what we’ve seen. Last year, we observed 26% higher eCPMs in Q4, compared to Q3 on MoPub Marketplace, our real-time bidding exchange. That’s a significant increase. Perhaps even more telling, Q4 2015 saw 23% higher eCPMs on MoPub Marketplace compared to networks in the US — and 57% higher eCPMs globally.
As these trends indicate, Q4 presents a major opportunity for mobile publishers to capitalize on the increased demand queued up to flow through mobile exchanges, as marketers increase their spend on mobile programmatic to reach holiday shoppers in the final months of the year. In addition, some DSPs with budgets from retailers or seasonal spend may pay even higher prices than what’s projected (and what is set for networks) to take advantage of a specific user at a specific time. As the number of advertisers and the number of campaigns increase, prices are expected to rise so DSPs can capture the valuable supply their marketers seek at year-end.
What can mobile publishers do to earn the most revenue during this profitable time?
With all these ad dollars flowing in Q4, publishers who have locked in deals ahead of time could be missing out on the opportunity to benefit from higher-than-ever expected programmatic demand for their inventory during this lucrative time of year. Our tips for publishers:
- Reserve at least a portion of your inventory to open to programmatic demand as the holidays approach.
- Configure your waterfall so that programmatic buyers can compete with your ad networks at every level to maximize your ability to capture this holiday spend.
- Include a “first-look” exchange line item at a higher priority and higher price floor than your networks. This gives programmatic buyers the opportunity to fill your inventory first — but only at a premium price.
- Premium ad formats, such as video, rich media, and fullscreen ads tends to perform extremely well during Q4, as they attract brand budgets. Ensure you’re leveraging these formats as much as possible during this time.
- Make sure to regularly update your network CPMs so that programmatic buyers can accurately compete with your ad networks.
Cheers to a maximally monetized holiday season for all mobile publishers. We look forward to seeing how programmatic demand drives success this Q4.