Native ads on MoPub now drive 13% of total exchange spend

May 19, 2020

Tags: DSPs, Marketers

reporting data chart on mobile phone

MoPub has shipped two significant updates for the demand side of our exchange business: support for OpenRTB 2.5 and Native Ads 1.2. As we roll out these updates, it presented a good opportunity to reflect on how much native ad inventory has grown on MoPub since we introduced the format seven years ago.

On MoPub’s exchange, we see:

  • Over 170M unique devices reached through native ad inventory.
  • Native formats drive 13% of total spend on MoPub Marketplace.1

MoPub introduced programmatic-enabled native ads to the mobile app ecosystem in 2013; ever since, native ads have been a format that our buyers value for the seamless, engaging experience. “Native ads effectively drive customer engagement and strengthen brand perception for marketers by weaving in messages seamlessly with digital content,” said Ian Trider, director of RTB platform operations, Centro. “To meet the needs of Centro’s multi-channel advertisers, MoPub has been expanding this pool of inventory and guiding app developers on building these formats." 

Unique Inventory

Native ads play a unique role in MoPub’s exchange by giving app publishers a method to introduce advertising into their content without disrupting the user experience. For a subset of our publishers, native is the only ad format available in their apps.

  • Native ads provide incremental reach on 27M daily unique devices on MoPub. (These users are not being reached by any other ad format served by MoPub.)

Howard Lam, Senior Mobile Advertising Manager at longtime MoPub app publisher partner PicsArt stated, “We integrated native ads into PicsArt in 2015, and we remain convinced that building an ad strategy around a format that matches the look and feel of our content helped us attract, retain, and grow our overall audience.”


Left: a native ad appearing in the PicsArt app. Right: In February, Picsart reached #1 in the Photo/Video category & #2 in all apps on iOS.
A natural extension for social buyers

PicsArt is representative of the anchor use case for native ads: apps built around a feed. In parallel with this, two of the buyers of this inventory include Pangle, the leading video advertising platform under ByteDance, and MoPub’s parent company, Twitter. “For Pangle, we are excited about leveraging feed-based placements to form a natural fit, which is a good match in terms of targeted users and appropriate context for our advertisers,” said Lynn Wu, Head of Business Development, Pangle.

For Twitter advertisers, MoPub offers audience extension for performance campaigns seeking maximum reach. This extension product, called the Twitter Audience Platform, includes native within its supported formats. In January 2020, Twitter was the top buyer of this format across the MoPub exchange. MoPub’s global commercial lead, Robin Wheeler, formerly ran a global Twitter sales team that actively used this product. According to Robin, “The extra reach on MoPub generally, and from native ads specifically, are a perfect vehicle for campaigns that benefit from additional reach beyond the core Twitter timeline. Having seen how well it works from the ad sales side, I’m excited to continue to help grow this from the technology side."

Improvements and opportunities

With our recent update to the IAB’s Native 1.2 specification, we anticipate material increases in performance, a more seamless buying experience, and greater targeting granularity against specific placement types

Native ads on MoPub offer a good opportunity for marketers; across our exchange this format skews on the lower end of the competitive factor. In other words, the competition for these placements is lower than on more established formats, meaning an advertiser has an opportunity to acquire significant reach with less competition for supply. In contrast to ad formats like fullscreen, relatively few supply-side platforms have been able to build out offerings to support the lucrative native ad format. The eCPC for native ads on MoPub is about half that of fullscreen ads; this, combined with the increased unique user reach that native ads can offer, means that native is an ad format that advertisers can scale while being highly cost efficient.

Looking for more native ad resources?


1Unique devices and percentage of spend: MoPub internal data, January 1-February 29, 2020.

About the author: John Egan, Head of Demand, EMEA

John leads the EMEA Demand partnerships team and is responsible for MoPub's buy-side partnerships with programmatic buyers and direct marketers. John joined MoPub in 2012 prior to its being acquired by Twitter, where he led publisher acquisition. Prior to MoPub, John developed implemented the ad monetization strategy for a number of gaming companies. He lives in Dublin, Ireland, and is an (internal) award-winning Twitter follow at @jegania.

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