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The Future of Mobile Advertising in 2019

Global App Market already surpassed traditional media such as television, and projections tell us that it will only continue to grow. According to eMarketer, a market research company, 70% of the [...]

January 15, 2019

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Global App Market already surpassed traditional media such as television, and projections tell us that it will only continue to grow. According to eMarketer, a market research company, 70% of the overall digital impression in 2017. were mobile. Mobile advertising in the USA exists for 11 years, and it is already bigger than television. Changes in mobile advertising are driven by infrastructure development, better networks and 5G are providing more opportunities for creative advertising. New opportunities will also be changing the way we think about mobile design. What to expect in 2019?

Budgets for mobile marketing are growing

If we would take a look at global app market, Asia is currently the most interesting market with the biggest growth. The growth in Europe and USA is slowing down. Global media buying market can be divided in 4 tiers based on financial factors as well as taking overall development of the society into consideration. Tier 1 countries like Germany, United States or Canada have highly developed buying habits, but they have the highest expenses of media buying. That is a result of market oversaturated with commercials. Countries in Tier 1 have more users overall, and more apps. Mobile holds first place of total ad spends share in the United States with 33,9%, TV comes second with 31.9%. Number of overall installs (organic or paid) is growing, in 2018. that was 113 billion or 10% growth in comparison to 2017. Mobile games category is fastest growing category in overall gaming, with more revenue coming from in-app purchase or app purchase.

Modeled and aggregated data is history

Instead of adding up costs of advertising on multiple channels and modeling the value of user, more advanced tools give us opportunity to track financial value of every user. Data modeling will soon be history. IronSource is the first big mobile platform that offered a solution for revenue tracking on user level. User-level Ad Revenue Tracking is a solution which allows us to measure ad revenue per user. Before it was able only to measure in-app purchases, without knowing the true impact of complete ad revenue. This solution enables us to know what the average revenue per user is. It is taking in consideration in-app purchases and ads together. It records exact user revenue per impression from any ad network served by IronSource’s mediation platform and from any ad unit (display, playable, video…). Knowing the true value of each user allows more efficient bidding. We’re also able to see which marketing channels bring the most valuable users. With more accurate and complete data we’re able to make smarter and more profitable decisions.

Ad Networks are more and more utilizing their huge amount of data

Leading in this field is currently Google, with Facebook only one step away. Target ROAS optimization on Google was launched in 2017., and became more actively used in 2018. Sadly, still less than 0.5% of media buyers use this optimization. Target ROAS helps media buyers to optimize based on financial data – how much return on their marketing budget they want. To find „more valuable“ users, Google uses ad buyer’s data sets as well as aggregated user data. This optimization is currently available on web and mobile web. We are expecting a launch of Target ROAS for mobile apps and games during this year. Facebook has started testing his own version of target ROAS (Value Optimization with Minimum ROAS). It is still not available to all of the users, but it should become more readily available during this year. Optimization based on return of ad spend must be imperative if ad buyers want better control of their margins and achieving higher volume. That means using specific financial data.

Target ROAS model

Number of paid installs will continue to grow, with revenue growing faster than the number of installs

Mobile advertising market is more challenging by every day. Non-organic app installs will be the fastest growing category among with attributed installs. It is becoming increasingly important to know the user, his habits and behavior patterns. As well as before app install, inside the game/app too. Streaming services like Netflix, HBO, Spotify or recently announced Disney+ are extremely successful according to financial indicators. Among top 10 apps by worldwide consumer spend 6 are streaming services. Most profitable in 2018. were “hyper-casual” games. This type of game isn’t expensive to produce, but it can earn a lot through display of in-app ads. We expect that more desktop and console games will continue to offer mobile versions of their games. In 2018 Minecraft, Fortnite and PUBG launched the trend.

Top Apps Worldwide by Consumer Spend

Interactive ads are a way to go

Industry of mobile games today makes up for 40% of total number of installed games, and we can expect that number will only get higher. New formats, like playable ads, showed as very effective in captivating mobile game players in mobile advertising world. Those are ads within you’re literally playing a part of a game. According to a report from Publicitas 2016, in users comparing interstitial vs. interactive ads they found interactive formats more enjoyable. 91% described interactive ads as fun, 66% described as appealing. These types of ads are more demanding to produce, but they offer more to the user for his  time. They have proven to be more effective than interstitial ads or video ads. Users themselves prefer rewarded video which is a specific type of video ad that is shown in exchange for a reward, such as unlocking a life to continue playing or for in-game currency. More complex version of that is offerwall. Offerwall is the type of in game ads that gives users choice to select their preferred ad experience in return for in-app currency.


As the mobile advertising industry continues to grow and become more competitive, in order to win, companies must become more data-driven and more sophisticated in mobile advertising. User-level tracking is the biggest game-changer in mobile advertising in 2019. Especially when it comes to ad revenue tracking in the mobile gaming industry. Forget about modeled data. User-level approach to tracking will enable app & game companies to track everything precisely, get a better understanding of their data and acquire higher quality users. Those users will spend more time and more money within their apps or games. By feeding this data back into ad networks, such as Google or Facebook, and relying on their machine learning tech to make practical use out of it, app & game companies will also see an improvement in their financial performance and overall volume.

About Udonis

We are an award-winning marketing agency specialized in mobile apps & games. We help scale products that people love, keeping the attention on data and results. Have questions, need help? 🤗 Email us at hello@udonis.co!

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Slavica Grgić

I'm Slavica, Social Marketing Manager at Udonis. If I'm not writing new blog posts, I'm making sure that everything is picture perfect.


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Slavica GrgićTravis BrooksSandra GonzalezJeff Collins Recent comment authors
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Jeff Collins
Jeff Collins

Interesting view on the future of mobile marketing!

Sandra Gonzalez
Sandra Gonzalez

I agree, number of attributed installs will only grow in 2019!

Travis Brooks
Travis Brooks

Rewarded video is a great format – I use it a lot for my games! A bit more time-consuming, but brings the results in shorter time.