Commentary

Mobile Programmatic Buying Is Taking Off

Mobile programmatic ad-buying is taking off. Rubicon Project, a large ad exchange and ad tech provider, last week shared that mobile now accounts for over 20% of the company’s total managed revenue, up from less than 3% just one year ago.

That represents a spend increase of 1,300%, and Rubicon doesn’t expect it to slow down any time soon. The company anticipates its managed mobile revenue to pass $200 million this year.

We’ve been hearing similar things from other ad tech companies as well. TubeMogul, a programmatic video ad platform, had similar numbers to share during its Q1 2015 earnings. The company said mobile video spend via programmatic rose 500% year-over-year to account to 12% of total spend it saw.

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A recent Millennial Media report noted that 91% of mobile ad buyers have increased their programmatic spend in 2015. And Beachfront Media, a video ad tech firm, recently told Real-Time Daily that the vast majority of its programmatic business now comes from mobile. 

Frank Sinton, CEO and founder of Beachfront Media, went so far as to predict that mobile’s data -- namely IDFA tags from Apple and GAID tags from Google -- would replace the cookie as the most vital piece of audience-targeting data in the next year or two. He had some data to back that prediction up, noting that apps that passed the IDFA and GAID tags were eight and seven times more likely to receive an ad than those that didn’t pass the tags, respectively. 

All of this growth is being fueled by one thing: The marketers themselves are increasing mobile programmatic efforts. Not many may not be willing to speak on behalf of mobile programmatic strategy publicly -- as Real-Time Daily was told by one agency -- but the industry at large is talking with its money.

Last year, eMarketer predicted that programmatic spend in mobile would account for 56.2% of all programmatic spend this year, meaning it will have surpassed desktop programmatic. We may not know the accuracy of Market's projection yet, but the recent data that has been shared by several ad tech firms seems to confirm that mobile programmatic has serious momentum one way or another.

Add in the fact that some large publishers -- such as Pandora -- are getting involved in the mobile programmatic game, and it’s easy to see why it is expected to continue growing.

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