TikTok's Growth Drives ROI, Joining Google, Facebook, Apple Search Ads, Report Finds

TikTok has emerged in this year’s Singular ROI Index as one of the top platforms for advertising return on investment, joining leaders such as Google and Facebook. Apple Search Ads also hit most of the top 12 categories and lists.

The annual Singular ROI Index, released Tuesday, identifies the top advertising networks globally for return on investments. The report, which represents about 85% mobile, analyzes $6.3 billion in advertising spend in 2019 and 2.2 billion app installs across 550 networks.

Rather than ranking the ad networks, this year the report lists all the companies that were recognized in a category without ranking them.

TikTok’s growth is the biggest news in the report. The company came from zero in the world of mobile user acquisition at the start of 2019 to become a significant global player. It added more than 600 million users and then built the foundation to monetize the investments by adding tools for advertisers. All this resulted in a massive 75 times growth in ad spend on the platform from May to November.

Facebook and Google remained massive global platforms -- included on nearly every leaderboard for both Android and iOS -- and continue to provide both scale and quality, according to the report. These companies have become the default platforms.

On iOS, however, Apple Search Ads continues to approach this status of becoming a default platform. Apple Search Ads also appeared on every iOS leaderboard in the report.

These platforms have 10 to 20 times the reach of others and they capture about 20-to-100-times the amount spent on smaller players.

The report also lists Twitter, Pinterest, Snap, Unity, Ironsource and Vungle as some of the core competitors.

Amazon still has not come close to supporting mobile user acquisitions despite its rapid growth in advertising and Marketer pegging Amazon’s revenue from advertising at nearly $10 billion in 2019.

While the ad industry waits, Eric Seufert, author of Freemium Economics: Leveraging Analytics and User Segmentation to Drive Revenue, calls Amazon “an interesting participant here because they have all the components to build a just gigantic rival to Facebook and Google.”

The top 15 for iOS in alphabetical order include Aarki, AdAction, Apple Search Ads, Applovin, Chartboost, Facebook, Google, IronSource, Liftoff, Moloco, Snap, Tapjoy, Twitter, Unity, and Vungle.

The top 15 for Android include Aarki, AdAction, Applike, Applovin, Facebook, Google, IronSource, Liftoff, Moloco, Nend Snap, Tapjoy, Twitter, Unity, and Vungle.

Vungle, which raised about $25 million before being acquired by Blackstone, a private equity group, still shows up on the list.

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