In-App Bidding - Publishers Awakening to the Opportunity



December 17, 2019


min read

Last week we launched a new webinar series, Mobile Programmatically, which is focused on educating mobile app developers about programmatic in-app advertising. The topic of our first webinar was in-app bidding; why it's here, how it works, and how to get started with Helium. This blog post is a recap of a few of the insights that we shared in the webinar. Recordings are also available here if you prefer to tune in!?

Why in-app bidding is here - inefficiencies of the waterfall

The monetization tech stack is becoming more and more complex. From a decade ago where mobile app developers only needed to manage a few ad networks SDKs, they now have to manage a dozen ad networks with up to hundreds of line-items for each mobile app in a waterfall setup. The inefficiencies of the waterfall are multiple:?

  • High overhead costs of ad ops resources doing manual optimization of the waterfall, updating ad network positions and adjusting eCPM ranges.
  • Missed revenue opportunities because not all demand partners get a fair chance to compete and bids are based on historical and predicted eCPMs
  • No transparency or access to granular data where you?re only able to get an aggregate level of data in waterfall mediation.

Publishers are awakening to the opportunity of in-app bidding

The drawbacks of the waterfall were what brought the creation of in-app bidding. The bidding concept originated from the web as header bidding six years ago where the adoption of US websites has increased to 82.5% from last year?s 75% as we explained in this previous blog post. We expect the adoption of in-app bidding to increase year over year as well. In fact, we shared some early insights during the webinar from a publisher survey we are currently conducting. The insights preview below is based on 48 respondents so far compared to a survey we conducted in 2018 with over 100 developers. The survey is still open with the chance of winning a $300 Amazon gift card, so take a few minutes to fill it out here.?If we take a look at what monetization stack mobile app developers are using today third-party traditional waterfall is still the most common monetization stack. However, third-party hybrid mediation is clearly on the rise, which is a combination of in-app bidding plus waterfall.

Monetization stack 2019 vs 2018

Another early insight to the result is that 40% of the survey respondents have already tested an in-app bidding solution! This shows that publishers are awakening to the opportunity and testing solutions. 35% of the respondents plan to test an in-app bidding solution within the next 6 months and almost 17% have no plans to test. A reason for the later is most likely due to the lack of knowledge about the technology and the lack of performance they?ve seen so far. As the overall market starts to get more mature for this technology and there is more adoption among publishers as well as demand partners, the performance will only increase.?

Stay tuned for the final results of the survey in early 2020. If you haven?t answered it already, we?d love to hear your voice! Fill out the survey and enter the chance of winning a 300 USD worth of Amazon gift card!