Mobile RTB: Current Benefits & Future Trends

Anton Ruin, CEO of Epom, outlines the potential benefits of mobile RTB for advertisers and reflects on the future trends in the sector.

The concept of real-time bidding in display advertising has already proven its effectiveness, but its role in the mobile sector is only just starting to grow. Mobile RTB is one of the styles in programmatic buying, which presupposes that ad inventory is sold and purchased via a real-time auction, and can help mobile advertisers engage a larger audience and increase their revenue.

At the same time, mobile publishers, who work via RTB acquire an opportunity to monetize more specific and premium audience segments much easier and maximize their ad profits, as a result.

Advantages of Mobile RTB

Mobile RTB can resolve a number of serious issues in the industry. To start, it can help eliminate the so-called "CPM problem" and enable publishers to monetize their mobile audiences more efficiently.

Additionally, the RTB concept on mobile allows companies to adjust audience location data and bid on their right to display ads as soon as a person opens a certain mobile webpage or an app. As most customers tend to use their smartphones and tablets almost everywhere, it is possible to collect and use more granular location data, demographics and contextual information to target potential clients.

In this respect, some of the most innovative algorithms now allow layering precise audience data over ad requests in real-time without damaging people's privacy.  

Mobile RTB in 2013-2014

In 2013 we have seen considerable growth of mobile RTB in North America and Europe, with the amount of ad spending having increased by 32 percent. The number of relative impressions in Europe alone rose by almost 44 percent in Q3, whereas the volume of sold ad inventory in mobile RTB grew by around 9 percent.

As for the future of the mobile RTB niche, experts predict further market development and expansion in 2014. Some of the major acquisitions in the field, e.g. the recent purchase of MoPub by Twitter, indicates the continuously increasing interest in programmatic buying on mobile as a whole, and the concept of mobile RTB, in particular.

The most promising niches are likely to include food and drinks, heath, finances and entertainment, similar to trends of 2013.

The most promising ad formats in the mentioned sectors will likely include interactive rich media ads, mixed with video, highly shareable in social media. In fact, it is the cross-channel mobile ad campaigns, which are expected to generate considerable demand and contribute to companies' mobile ad revenue next year.

As for the day-parting aspect, the weekends remain to be the most promising ones for advertisers in terms of tracked CTRs. In this respect, the advertisers can also reach more customers, suffering from insomnia in a 1-4 a.m. period, given that the number of RTB ad requests decreases much during the night.

On the whole, performance-based advertising on mobile, as research results reveal, will gradually decrease its essentiality in 2014, and many companies will shift their focus on to programmatic ad buying in the sector.

In this respect, the results of 2013 predict the flourishing future of RTB on mobile, which can help the publishers monetize their most specific traffic segments and provide advertisers with an opportunity to bid on the most high-value audience and maximize their mobile ad efficiency in such a way.

Anton Ruin, CEO of Epom