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Rise in mobile RTB in Asia is addressing monetisation problem

For many mobile RTB (real time bidding) is still a grey area. Is it only talk or are some players, especially in a market such as Asia, taking strides in the space already? Players such as Smaato that owns and operates mobile RTB ad exchange and Supply Side Platform however are of the opinion that With high smartphone penetration rates and receptive populations in Asia Pacific markets such as China, the age of mobile advertising is now. Global mobile RTB spend increased by 459 per cent in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013, according to the 2014 Q1 insights report by Smaato. This performance has been linked to its ability to address monetisation issues faced by publishers.

Smaato’s SMX platform helps 76,000+ publishers monetise inventory across 240+ Ad Networks and Demand Side Platforms. SMX has access to 70 billion+ ad impressions per month from ad serving platforms across 450MM unique users.

As per the report, in China, ad categories of shopping, e-commerce, communication and technology had the highest eCPM of USD 0.30 in Q1. In terms of mobile RTB ad spend, entertainment (30 per cent) and games (22 per cent) emerged as the top two categories in the country for the first quarter.

The key to mobile RTB performance, according to Smaato CSO Ajitpal Pannu, has been the combination of self-serve controls and data. “Publisher controls combined with support from Smaato’s publisher partner managers, educating our application developers on value of each impression and marrying that impression from ad-request to bid-request across 240+ demand sources in SMX platform increased fill-rates and spend. We also found that monetisation and brand spend was driven higher when key parameters (location, device ID, gender and age range) were passed globally to advertising partners,” said Mr Pannu.

Source SMX Platform: Global demand for app inventory increased by 73%

Source SMX Platform: Global demand for app inventory increased by 73%

In fact, eCPMs increased by up to 321 per cent when location and Device ID are present in a bid request and increased more than 150 per cent when gender and age range data were included.

According to Gartner, global mobile advertising spending is forecast to reach USD 18.0 billion in 2014, up from the estimated USD 13.1 billion in 2013. Smaato claims that its global mobile RTB ad-exchange has seen global brand spend increase significantly for APAC inventory. In Smaato’s Q1 2014 Mobile RTB report 89 of top 100 AdEx brands had bought media through demand partners on the SMX exchange. Most importantly Gartner expects the high-growth economies of China and India to contribute increasingly to mobile advertising growth as their expanding middle classes present attractive markets for global and local brands.

It is something to note for advertisers looking into increasingly smartphone-savvy markets such as those in the Asia Pacific, where markets like Hong Kong (87 per cent), Singapore (87 per cent), and China (71 per cent) have high smartphone penetration rates. Asia Pacific markets in fact, have been generally receptive to mobile advertising – nine in 10 of smartphone users in China and 87 per cent of smartphone owners in India have clicked on mobile advertisements back in December 2013.

Mobile monetisation is a challenge for publishers, as it requires them to implement and manage multiple SDKs (Software Developments Kits) version controls as well as a general the lack of knowledge and expertise in mobile monetisation. Mobile RTB has therefore become an important source in filling the monetisation gap by providing one connection that grants instant access to a big pool of global ad inventory.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.