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In Asia’s fast growing mobile advtg scene, rewarded video is King

Asia-Pacific is proving its massive appetite for all things mobile. The region saw significant growth in terms of consumer’s app usage, which has led to mobile ad requests and eCPMs in APAC reaching an all-time high.

APAC’s mobile-first mindset is not particularly new, but the speed at which it is growing still astounds. The region saw ad requests grow 44 per cent over the previous year, as compared to 23 per cent in EMEA and the Americas.

In fact, many of the markets in this region are setting growth records that exceed any other country worldwide. India saw the most substantial growth in mobile ad requests on the Smaato platform, with an impressive 425 per cent increase from H2 2017 to H2 2018. Meanwhile, China is leading the world in the number of app store downloads, and this lead continues to grow as they have seen app store downloads rise 70 per cent over the past two years.

These remarkable growth figures are characteristic of APAC’s emerging mobile markets in which the number of mobile device owners, their time spent on mobile, and overall app download numbers are all increasing quickly.

In light of APAC’s growing mobile advertising scene — and mobile dethroning TV as consumer’s preferred media format — the question advertisers must ask is: What’s next?

Mobile video advertising is not only a logical step for advertisers as they shift their money away from TV and other legacy formats, but it also boasts chart-topping engagement rates among consumers.

On the Smaato platform, mobile ad spending increased significantly over the past year for all of the top video ad formats. These include:
• Outstream video ads: These auto-play video ads are shown between non-video content within an app. Ad spending for this format has increased by 42 per cent from H2 2017 to H2 2018.

• Instream pre-roll video ads: These ads are shown within the native video player of an app before the app’s own video content. This format saw a 43 per cent increase in ad spending from H2 2017 to H2 2018.

• Interstitial video ads: These full-screen ads come during a natural transition point in the app. Over the past year, interstitial video ads experienced 47 per cent growth.

• Rewarded video ads: This is an opt-in ad format, which rewards app users for opting in and completing the video with an in-app reward. This ad format saw 139 per cent growth from H2 2017 to H2 2018 on the Smaato platform.

It is clear that of today’s top video ad formats, rewarded video is king.

What sets rewarded video ads apart from the rest is the fact that they are opt-in. This means that users choose to view these ads, and after completion, they receive some kind of in-app reward.

These ads are most commonly used in gaming apps, where players receive an extra life, power-up, or in-game currency for viewing the ad. But as a result of their high-completion rates and positive reputation with consumers, we are beginning to see them be increasingly used outside of the gaming industry.

Still, advertisers without an app of their own have been slow to catch on. The majority of rewarded video ads on the Smaato platform in H2 2018 were for apps — a much higher share than for other video ad formats.

Apps are investing their ad dollars in this ad format because they likely use the ad format in their own apps, and they understand its effectiveness with users. They know that rewarded video has some of the highest completion and viewability rates. They know that consumers prefer it over all other video ad formats. They know that it works.

Advertisers from other sectors, including media, retail, and CPG, should follow suit if they want to improve the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. We anticipate that rewarded video will continue to be adopted by more apps from more categories throughout 2019, and brands can use this trend to leverage these engaged audiences.

Alex Khan

Alex Khan is the Managing Director APAC at Smaato.
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