90% Of Trading Desks Buy Mobile Inventory Via Automation, Ad Spend Set To Double

The multi-year “year of mobile” has spilled into 2014, and marketers are once again expected to ramp up mobile ad spend. Agency trading desks anticipate that mobile will account for 16% of their digital ad budgets in 2014, up from 7% in 2013. 

Not only are marketers expected to more than double the amount of money they spend in mobile, but the ways in which the mobile ads are bought are expected to change, too.

One year ago, 49% of trading desks were buying mobile inventory via automation (through demand-side platforms, or DSPs). In 2014, 90% of trading desks are buying mobile inventory this way.

However, despite the adoption of automation, trading desks are still using direct buying methods more in 2014 than they did in 2013.

In 2013, 22% of trading desks bought mobile inventory with publishers directly, and 30% did so through ad networks. In 2014, those figures have risen to 36% and 38%, respectively.



The fact that all three buying methods -- DSPs, ad networks, and direct with publishers -- are all being used more this year than last speaks to the growth that mobile advertising as a whole is seeing.

Mobile private marketplaces have also been a hit. Nearly all (95%) of respondents said they have bought -- or are planning in 2014 to buy -- mobile or tablet inventory through private marketplaces.

The data comes from Rubicon Project’s Mobile Buyer Survey 2014, which was released this week at Mobile World Congress. Rubicon Project surveyed 39 agency trading desk representatives from across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the U.S. The survey took place in January and early February 2014.

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