What’s On

APAC leads in growth as mobile web ad spend doubled in past year

  • Larger ad sizes are rising in popularity
  • Rich media ads are paying off
  • Android apps still lead the market

The small screen is becoming bigger and bigger for marketers as spending on the mobile web increased by 100 per cent over the past year. Apps still command the market for overall ad spending on mobile, according to a latest Smaato report.

Driving the mobile growth are the social media apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, highlights the report. A recent IAB report found that 52 per cent of smartphone owners say they tap links in mobile apps that take them to web articles they want to read, re-affirming the findings of Smaato data.

APAC is the highest growth region for mobile ads inventory and spending according to the report in the first half of 2015, compared to same period last year. However, country-wise, United States continues to lead while China grew by 315 per cent, India, 279 per cent, Singapore 225 per cent, Indonesia, 142 per cent, and Malaysia, 126 per cent.

“The shift to mobile began with the mobile web – and then apps took over. Although we can’t say for sure whether we’re looking at a huge comeback of the medium, the fact remains that publishers and advertisers can’t afford to ignore the mobile web. Mobile ad strategies – whether it be the size of ads or the use of rich media – must be created with both app and mobile web usage in mind,” said Ragnar Kruse, CEO of Smaato.

An interesting finding for marketers was that app developers and publishers who provide age and gender information make four times as much in ad revenues as those who do not.

Larger ad sizes are rising in popularity, especially in developing markets. Spend on larger ads (300×250 and up) rose by over 250 per cent – in sharp contrast with the overall spend on the original app-only banner ad size (320×50), which only increased by 30 per cent.

Brands and advertisers no longer exclusively see mobile users as young and tech-savvy. The research also found that advertisers are doubling down on targeting families and parents on mobile. Spending on this demographic increased by over 300 per cent over the past year, while the second most lucrative vertical only rose by 87 per cent.  72 per cent of kids eight and under have used tablets or smartphones, according to a study from Common Sense Media, and brands are doubling down on mobile to tap into this lucrative market.

Rich media is paying off as publishers and app developers who make room for rich media in their apps and on their websites are making 83 per cent more money than those who don’t.

In terms of the OS, Android apps still lead the market in terms of mobile ad impressions,  with 32 per cent of the overall market. iOS come in second with 20 per cent, while Windows apps have five per cent.

“Rich media and larger ad sizes are becoming increasingly popular in the Asia-Pacific as marketers use more creative and engaging content to get their messages across,” said Malcolm Wong, Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, Smaato.

“The average individual would have about 27 applications on their smartphone (Nielsen 2014), and with a voracious appetite for mobile applications observed in the Asia-Pacific, more advertising budgets could be expected to shift to mobile in future,” added Wong.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.