IAB Releases First Mobile Programmatic 'Playbook'

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released what it is calling the “mobile programmatic playbook,” the first document from the IAB focused on mobile programmatic.

The document is largely dedicated to explaining the ecosystem and defining terms; there’s no groundbreaking information shared.

But the fact the IAB wrote the “playbook” is telling in and of itself. In fact, marketers are expected to spend more programmatic ad dollars in mobile display this year compared to desktop display, per eMarketer.

And programmatic ad spend in mobile is growing beyond standard display units. According to the IAB’s document: “Within the mobile category, video is becoming one of the strongest drivers of traffic. Many marketers have long preferred video as a high-impact branding vehicle for all platforms. Currently mobile video makes up more than 10% of all digital video (Kovach, 2013) viewing and mobile video advertising is projected to grow at a 71% CAGR through 2016 (eMarketer, 2013). Due to growth in video in the next five years, mobile video will likely make up a major piece of the mobile programmatic landscape.”

Several ad tech companies are gearing up for the convergence of mobile, video and programmatic. The IAB also highlights native ad units, writing: “Currently native ads have a limited volume, and to win them, advertisers have to bid aggressively. Despite this, demand remains high, and use of native ads is likely to grow within the next few years.”

On the viewability front, the IAB notes that research specific to mobile viewability is “lacking,” but calls on the industry to address any concerns “before they impact the growth of the medium.”

The IAB notes that in 2015, the 3MS “will start to assess the technology for mobile ad viewability, with an eye to setting standards specific to mobile Web and apps.”

As of now, the same viewability standards for online (50% of the ad being in-view for at least one continuous second) as being used in mobile. No hints are given as to what the mobile viewability standards will be once released later this year.

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