- In-app ad impressions rose 26% in Q2 from a year earlier amid improvements to the quality of mobile ad inventory and transparency for media buyers, according to the latest quarterly report from sell-side platform PubMatic. The share of mobile in-app impressions on Apple's iOS rose to more than 50% worldwide in Q2 from one-third a year prior.
- Advertisers are shifting their media spending from the open market to private marketplaces (PMPs) partially due to concerns about mobile ad fraud, per PubMatic. Advertisers are set to spend $27 billion on digital display ads next year, over half of which will be through PMPs.
- Adoption of the IAB Tech Lab's anti-fraud measures has helped to address concerns about in-app quality, with about 12% of the 1,000 industry apps publishing app-ads.txt files by the middle of last month. IAB Tech Lab designed app-ads.txt to prevent fraudulent ad activity on apps for connected devices including mobile phones and smart TVs.
PubMatic's quarterly report indicates that in-app mobile advertising is surging as the industry tackles concerns about fraud. The findings also indicate that video content is a major driver of mobile activity, including in-app purchases during political events, and is likely to grow during heightened interest in next year's U.S. presidential election. In June, 9 million U.S. households streamed the first televised debate among Democratic candidates — an event that also drove 14 million video views among online platforms, per PubMatic.
In-app video still faces challenges even as adoption grows among marketers. More than one-fourth (28%) of marketers said they had trouble delivering video to in-app users, per a recent survey by mobile video software company Penthera. The biggest issues that marketers cited with in-app video are awareness (50%), low engagement (41%) and inadequate metrics (40%).
Branded video usage has risen to 87% of businesses this year from 81% in 2018 and 63% in 2017, a third survey found.
The app-ads.txt standard this month got a boost after Google threw its considerable weight behind the mobile anti-fraud measure. Starting on Aug. 27, the search giant's Ad Manager and AdMob mobile ad network will block unauthorized app inventory as identified by a publisher's app-ads.txt file. The company urged publishers and app developers to create an app-ads.txt file and publish it to the developer domain in their App Store or Google Play store listings to avoid getting blocked.
Still, Google has faced difficulties in policing apps that exploit weaknesses in its Android mobile operating system. The company this week removed 85 photography and gaming apps from Google Play after a security firm published an alert about an adware scheme. The incident was another reminder that Google's steps to crack down on malicious apps haven't been completely effective.