The advertising revenue engine of Apple’s app ecosystem has long outpaced Android. Yet, iOS’s monetization dominance has shown signs of vulnerability, and a new report points to further cracks.
In Q4 2016, Android app eCPMs surpassed those of iOS apps for the first time since PubMatic began tracking it two years ago, the company reported in its Quarterly Mobile Index Report, an analysis of mobile impression data through its platform, SEVEN.
Android app eCPMs increased by 79 percent in Q4 and saw at least double-digit growth in each of the previous quarters in 2016. Apple iOS app eCpMs rose by 5 percent in Q4.
Android app eCPMs grew significantly in all regions, while iOS apps saw eCPMs dip 5 percent in the Americas. The EMEA is the strongest region of revenue growth for apps on both platforms, with eCPMs up 110 percent for Android apps and 70 percent for iOS apps.
Ad inventory on Android apps also caught up with iOS in 2016 and is on pace to exceed iOS app monetized inventory volumes in 2017.
Mobile app impression volume catching up with mobile web
The impression gap between mobile app and mobile web continued to shrink as mobile web impressions fell 8 percent year over year and mobile app impressions increased by 21 percent. The app numbers exclude social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Mobile app eCPMs were 59 percent higher than mobile web impressions in Q4, on par with the previous year.
Mobile header bidding saw big gains in 2016
Among the other trends PubMatic saw in 2016 are header bidding continuing to drive growth and the continued popularity of private marketplaces (PMP) as more brands shift buys to programmatic.
Mobile header bidding saw big increases in adoption in 2016. Globally, the number of monetized mobile ad impressions via header bidding increased by nearly 50x (4,800 percent) year over year in Q4. The majority of mobile header bidding was on mobile web. Impression volume through header bidding nearly doubled between Q3 and Q4 2016 and accounted for three-quarters of PubMatic’s impression pool by the end of 2016. PubMatic expects this trend to continue as header bidding adoption in mobile apps grows in 2017.
Private Marketplace sales growing
Mobile Private Marketplace (PMP) impression volume grew 202 percent year over year in Q4, and eCPMs nearly doubled globally.
Mobile PMPs generated eCMPs that were 360 percent higher than the average for mobile overall in Q4 2016, an increase from 192 percent premium the year before.
Three-quarters of mobile impressions sold via PMPs were on mobile web. PubMatic predicts more Android app inventory will be sold via PMPs in 2017.