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Featuring company updates, insights, white papers and news in mobile app advertising. Enjoy!

 

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An Updated Look on Q2 2020

An Updated Look on Q2 2020: CPMs Are Back Up!   Let’s take an updated look as COVID 19 continues to spread around the globe and civil unrest surges in the U.S. We have compiled a curated list of data from our partners and our own data to paint the current landscape in light of the global spread of the coronavirus and its effects on consumers and businesses.  U.S. ad spending may drop 13% this year, per a forecast by media agency GroupM, though analyses indicate that ad spending has potentially hit bottom, positioning the battered marketing sector for a rebound in Q3. According to an IAB survey, half (51%) of the big brands surveyed expect that total ad spend in 2020 will be less than it was in 2019. Nonetheless, many brands expect to increase their spend across digital channels, including CTV/OTT (59%), non-CTV/OTT digital video (56%), social media (56%), podcasts (52%), digital audio (45%) and paid search (40%) in the second half of 2020. Certainly, the effects of the pullback are likely to be uneven among media platforms, of which, the app advertising market has rebounded quickly compared with other media platforms that forecast steep declines for the rest of the year.  CPMs almost recovered to pre-pandemic level  The recovery in CPMs bodes well for apps. As a growing number of countries are easing out of lockdowns, prices across mobile ad networks are picking up. According to data from Consumer Acquisition, CPMs grew 100% to $10 in May, up from $5 at the start of lockdowns. The study also noted that some individual advertisers had seen CPMs rise between 284% to almost 300% from March to June. As you can see from the graph below, 2020 CPMs have normalized to June 2019. Similarly, video ad CPMs for publishers on Facebook increased 28% last month from April, though they are still 20% lower than in February, according to data cited by Digiday. On Snapchat, revenue per thousand unique views (RPMs) this month recovered to $3 from a low of $1.50 in late March and early April, almost reaching a pre-pandemic level of $3 to $4. YouTube's CPMs are now about $23 after falling from $25 in March to $20 in April, Digiday reported. Global App Revenue Up 23% Year-Over-Year On the app usage side, Preliminary Sensor Tower projections through June 30 show that consumers spent a combined total of $50.1 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020. This total is 23% more than the $40.6 billion estimated during the same period in 2019. Previously, revenue had increased by 20% between the first half of 2018 and 2019.  2020’s significant growth reflects a trend of greater overall spending as a result of COVID-19’s impact on global app usage. According to Sensor Tower’s data, app installs reached 71.5 billion during the first half of 2020, up 26 year-over-year. The App Store accounted for 18.3 billion representing a 23% growth year-over-year. Google Play garnered 53.2 billion downloads which is a 27% jump from, same period in 2019. The number of downloads from Google’s platform [...]

WWDC 2020: A Privacy-Conscientious App Environment Is Coming Its Way

WWDC 2020: A Privacy-Conscientious App Environment Is Coming Its Way   Apple dropped a bombshell for third-party mobile ad tech during its 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday. From what we cobble together, Apple seems to be bidding on a privacy-conscientious app environment. According to Apple, starting with iOS 14, which is expected to release in the fall, Apple will require developers to self report their privacy practices, clearly indicating their privacy information in the App Store so users can see before downloading the app. Apple compared the required information to nutrition labels. Developers will need to detail which types of data the app collects and whether it will be connected to a user's identity for tracking. Developers will also have to spell out the third-party software development kits (SDKs) and other modules incorporated into their apps, what those components do, what data they collect, and how it will be used. Though the first step towards more transparency relies fully on developers’ candidacy. Apple claims they are giving transparency and control back to users so the policy will require apps to ask before tracking you across apps and websites owned by other companies. It will be easier for users to see and control what data an app is collecting about them with just-in-time notifications. The notifications will alert users when an app wants permission to track them across sites and apps followed by two options: “Allow tracking” or “Ask app not to track.” In addition, users will see an indicator in the status bar when an app is using the device's microphone or camera, much like the green light that goes on when a MacBook's built-in webcam is in use. And you'll be able to share an approximate location with apps, within about 10 miles, rather than giving away more precise data. This way apps can’t pinpoint your exact location. In more technical terms, Apple is lifting Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) functionality from where it’s currently buried within a phone’s Settings menu and calling attention to it at the moment of use, which will likely make people more cautious about sharing their private data. Last but not least, iOS 14 will introduce a “privacy dashboard” that will allow users to understand the information that various apps are tracking such as contacts, browsing history, identifiers, purchases, financial information and location. Users will be able to revoke access to this data from the privacy dashboard, even if those apps had been previously given access to it. Given how entrenched in the app ecosystem user tracking is, advertisers must reckon with the consequences of those changes for their business and think about how their business can endure in the wake of the inevitable IDFA’s deprecation later down the road. IDFA ties into basically every aspect of mobile marketing: targeting, attribution, re-engagement. It seems like a logical next move for Apple to start requiring apps to ask users to consent before using an identifier, such as IDFA, for ads. Without allowing a relative data-sharing free-for-all linked to the IDFA (which is a more persistent identifier than a cookie), mobile advertising is in need [...]

On App-Ads.txt

AppMonet's Thoughts on App-Ads.txt IAB Tech Lab’s OpenRTB working group released the final version of the app-ads.txt specification back in 2019. AppMonet has adopted the practice and encourages all of our partners we work with to sign on to ensure a more transparent exchange environment for all stakeholders. What exactly is App-ads.txt? It is essentially an IAB Tech Lab initiative that helps ensure that the digital ad inventory is only sold through sellers (such as AdSense, AppMonet, InMobi, etc) who you have labeled as authorized in your app-ads.txt page. Having your own ads.txt file gives you more control over who is allowed to sell ads on your site and helps prevent fraudulent inventory from being presented to advertisers. How does it work? Publishers can generate a text file on their web servers that lists all of the companies that are authorized to sell the publishers’ inventory. Similarly, programmatic platforms also integrate ads.txt files to confirm which publishers’ inventory they are authorized to sell. This allows buyers to check the validity of the inventory they purchase. How can buyers use ads.txt to check who is authorized to sell? Bidders can check their tags for the presence of an ads.txt file to verify that the exchange and publisher have a legitimate connection to each other. Why does this matter? Unauthorized reselling is a major drawback in programmatic advertising, and unless buyers contacted publishers directly, they would have had no way to know which SSPs are authorized to sell a particular publisher’s inventory. Creating a depository of authorized sellers should help buyers determine which programmatic firms have legitimate access to the inventory they seek. If you are interested in working with AppMonet, we highly recommend you create an app-ads.txt file if you haven’t already. Sharing with us the link to your file - example.com/app-ads.txt would rapidly streamline the onboarding process. As a verified vendor with IAB, we are all in this initiative to build trust, create the network effect and hence make the adtech industry more transparent and efficient! Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how. {{ vc_btn:title=Get+in+touch%21&style=custom&custom_background=%231e73be&custom_text=%23ffffff&size=lg&align=center&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fappmonet.com%252Fcontact%252F%7Ctitle%3AContact%7C%7C }}

A Letter from AppMonet: Black Lives Matter

A Letter from AppMonet: Black Lives Matter Today, many are scared, angry, exhausted, and isolated. As evidenced by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many more whose names we do not know, systemic racism continues to perpetuate hate, inequities, and inequalities in our country and elsewhere. We can do better, and we must do better. As a company, we stand against police brutality in all forms. We stand against a criminal justice system that disproportionately targets the Black community. We stand against the widespread disenfranchisement of Black and Brown communities whose voices are silenced at the polls. We stand in solidarity with our team, clients, partners and communities who are voicing their anguish, anger, and deep frustration with systems that oppress and devalue Black lives. We stand in solidarity as we seek to work together to heal our country. And acting with humanity and purpose strengthens our conviction. It is critical and urgent to provide timely support to organizations working tirelessly for criminal justice reform and those that assist Black-led institutions. We are donating to organizations combating racial injustice & police brutality and we encourage our community to join us in supporting these important organizations. AppMonet is built on the belief to challenge the status quo and make things better, in adtech and in other aspects of our lives that matter to us. Change is hard-fought, and we are committed to this fight. We’re all in this together! With hope and love, AppMonet Team Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how. {{ vc_btn:title=Get+in+touch%21&style=custom&custom_background=%231e73be&custom_text=%23ffffff&size=lg&align=center&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fappmonet.com%252Fcontact%252F%7Ctitle%3AContact%7C%7C }}

Understanding “Mobile Cookies”

Understanding Mobile Cookies It is a common misconception that cookies don’t work on mobile devices. It is not that mobile cookies don’t work, it simply means cookie tracking on mobile devices can only work in specific situations, but other tracking methods are needed to more reliably track ad campaigns across environments. Most mobile web browsers accept first-party cookies (explained in our previous blog post), while different mobile browsers can choose whether to accept third party cookies. Now with Google’s announcement that it would be phasing out its Chrome browser support for third-party cookies in 2022, it adds additional challenges to track mobile cookies. On the other hand, mobile apps have their “sandbox” environment and use a technology referred as “webview” to show online content, whether it’s a website or an ad in a mobile application. Cookies can be stored within a webview similar to the way they are stored in a browser setting. However, any given webview and, consequently the cookies stored in it is unique per application. Therefore mobile apps cannot share cookie information with other applications or with the device’s mobile and web browser.   So what is the industry working on to overcome the gap left by cookies. In February 2020, the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) introduced a new initiative entitled Project Rearc (i.e., Project Re-architecture). The aim is to satisfy the needs of addressable advertising and to work across different browsers while meeting the requirements of various privacy regulations. As we can see. a long term solution is needed to find a balance between user privacy and the relevance of ads as well as the sustainability of the adtech industry.  Meanwhile, there are a few alternative tracking methods we could consider or use a combination of them to fill the mobile cookies gap.  Email or phone number: Use a user’s encrypted email or phone number as an identifier. This “identifier” would then be passed through the standard programmatic supply chain: publisher to SSP to DSP to marketer. However, this form of solution would require publishers to create registration walls for users to access their ad-monetized content and may not facilitate the tracking of users across sites. It enables companies with this type of universal login to gather data across applications and devices.  Client/Device Generated Identifier: A device identifier (ID) set and/or made available by the operating system. Examples include: Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), Google’s Android_ID, Universal Device ID (UDID) and MAC Address. Users may or may not be able to control or change a device-generated identifier.  Statistical ID: A server-side algorithm for identifying a device or user based on the values of a combination of standard attributes passed by the device. Typical device attributes include: device type, operating system, user-agent, fonts, and IP address. Those attributes change over time due to device changes or updates.  HTML5 Cookie Tracking: Involves storing a cookie-like file in HTML5 local storage on the device. These are similar to traditional cookies, but can only be set or retrieved when the browser is open and running.  With partnerships with multiple data vendors, AppMonet is dedicated to fight ad fraud and uphold ourselves [...]

A Cookie-Constrained Future

A Cookie-Constrained Future When Google announced that it would be phasing out its Chrome browser support for third-party cookies in 2022, the message sent ripples of uncertainty throughout the ad tech industry. And now 3rd party cookies are on the way out, the industry is preparing for a future without 3rd party cookies once they are completely deprecated. It is crucial to understand the impact and find alternative solutions for advertisers and marketers. It’s time to reimagine a future with cookieless identity data products to combat marketers’ dwindling reliance as browsers like Chrome stop supporting third-party cookies.  First and foremost, what are 1st and 3rd party data/cookies? First party data is any data collected by the brand who owns the relationship with a consumer and used by that brand to enrich that consumer's experience. A few examples of this data include a brand loyalty program, purchase history, communication preferences, or consumer-supplied demographic information. Though there are limitations to 1st party cookies as they are limited to same-site tracking and activation, which cannot be leveraged for tracking across the web and sold to other parties.  Third party data, on the other hand, is information that was aggregated and made available for purchase. A few examples of this data include publicly available demographic data, online behavioral data, or consumer preferences. Traditionally, it is very common for brands to use a combination of 1st party and 3rd party data to drive deeper relationships with their consumers and serve relevant ads based on those data.  The new reality is to get past an environment where advertisers rely on third-party cookies by linking a hashed email to a device ID without disclosing the owner. As the industry evolves to embrace alternative identity standards, it looks like we would rely heavily on first-party cookies and find alternative ways such as hashed emails, PII-match, segment-level data activation to replace 3rd party cookies. Though any new product would have to address the vulnerabilities in the cookieless world:  scale, fraud, or future-proof. The next blogpost will focus on the future of mobile cookies. Stay tuned! Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how. {{ vc_btn:title=Get+in+touch%21&style=custom&custom_background=%231e73be&custom_text=%23ffffff&size=lg&align=center&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fappmonet.com%252Fcontact%252F%7Ctitle%3AContact%7C%7C }}

Adtech Q&A in Q2 with AppMonet

Q2 Adtech Q&A with AppMonet What has been the ad spend trend in Q2?  One month ago, 24% of ad buyers had paused their campaigns, according to an IAB survey on how COVID-19 has impacted spend. That number has since increased to 37% of buyers, according to the trade org’s latest survey. The coronavirus pandemic brought everyone online, leading to a surge in traffic .But CPMs are falling industrywide. Ad prices drop when marketers lower their spending and demand for digital ads decline, and it will likely continue through Q2 as we expect pricing to remain low for the foreseeable future. At a point in time when marketers & their agencies need to extract as much value from their limited marketing budgets as possible, the practice of programmatic buying has never been more important to maximize revenue opportunities.    Any apps/tools AppMonet is loving this season?  Any tool that helps us collaborate, hang out, have virtual happy hours more easily online. We love Slack, Trello, Periscope and Airtable to keep us productive! This is a weirdly addicting game by one of our partners - Mazes & More   Any recent win/success story to share?  We are so grateful that as a team everyone is staying safe and healthy. We have had several new apps come onboard since March and they are already generating decent cash flow from AppMonet. We add fresh new and incremental revenue sources to those apps, which is key to stay ahead of the curve during this special and turbulent time.    “SDK stability and revenue increase are the two most important factors we look for when evaluating the right monetization partner to work with, AppMonet did both for us" - from a happy mobile gaming app Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how. {{ vc_btn:title=Get+in+touch%21&style=custom&custom_background=%231e73be&custom_text=%23ffffff&size=lg&align=center&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fappmonet.com%252Fcontact%252F%7Ctitle%3AContact%7C%7C }}

A look inside AppMonet’s #WFH – Winning From Home

A look inside AppMonet’s #WFH - Winning From Home We’ve reached a turning point - and distributed teams are becoming the new norm. As individuals, organizations and governments continue to adapt in response to COVID-19, the traditional stigmas and barriers associated with working virtually have all but vanished. The closing of non-essential offices, increasing travel restrictions and shelter-in-place mandates have forced a staggering number of businesses to rapidly virtualize and distribute their workforces. Today, remote work isn’t reserved for freelancers looking to avoid a 9-5 grind. Advancements in technology and business practices - dramatically highlighted by the unexpected spread of the novel Coronavirus - are showing just how capable we are of acting as virtual employees. For many enterprises, this sharp and unplanned transition to #WFH is disrupting ongoing projects, processes and workflows. At AppMonet, we rapidly embraced this new norm since the COVID-19 outbreak and made the call to let everyone work from home at the end of February. We quickly realized we could make remote collaborations work and turn it into an advantage for us. Now our new routine has been to check in at 11am and host a virtual standup on Google Hangout to share what we have worked on, what we are going to do and what is blocking us/what we need help with. We also developed new processes to clearly explain our thinking in writing and documenting all the key business practices for everyone to get on the same page. As a company, we realized we have to be more deliberate with our communications than we do in an office setting, but overtime this new practice makes us a stronger team and company. In terms of client communications, we have been relying on Slack, WeChat and Skype but made a more conscious decision to check in more frequently. We’re sending frequent updates, being transparent, sharing good news, and just making sure everyone is in good health and spirits. As a team, we are also implementing virtual happy hours and game times every week. Pushing the next level connectivity has been a bright spot in a dark time so that we can accomplish working — and winning — from home. Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how. {{ vc_btn:title=Get+in+touch%21&style=custom&custom_background=%231e73be&custom_text=%23ffffff&size=lg&align=center&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fappmonet.com%252Fcontact%252F%7Ctitle%3AContact%7C%7C }}

Coronavirus’s impact on mobile ad spend and monetization (the data version)

Coronavirus's impact on mobile ad spend and monetization Have you stocked up yet? 🤔 We have seen cities, even countries like Italy in lock down mode right now and millions of people are affected. It has become a global pandamic which not only has dramatic effects on people’s lives (think work from home and the Netflix-and-quarantine life style) but also on the global economy.  And this leads to a thought about our own industry - adtech. How would this pandemic affect mobile ad spend and ad revenue. If revenues are in free fall given the stock market performance and other factors, big spenders' marketing dollars might be budgeted in for later. However, AppMonet noticed that our publishers are actually in an entirely different situation. We serve ads mostly for self care, self education, casual games and news & entertainment apps. These industries will probably even benefit from this crisis. AppMonet saw at least 10% more app bid requests in the past few weeks compared to December. It is evident that mobile usage has been going up during this period.  And according to Apptopia’s data, we saw significant increase of usage and installs on work from home and online education apps. In addition, as you can imagine, people who are quarantined need to be entertained. Sessions of China's top streaming video apps were slowing but experienced a rebound as the severity of the virus increased. And in South Korea, the usage of Netflix soared.  So publishers, what can you do to succeed during the turbulent times? There are two sides - user acquisition and app monetization. It seems to be the time to scale budgets in countries that have been hit hard by coronavirus - at least for those apps that benefit from people in idle mode. We have seen a declining CPM in terms of acquiring users because many big players have put a pause on marketing spend (reference). On the app monetization side, the first and foremost, even if your entire office is working from home, make sure your app is working! Make sure there’s no issue with your server or services so that people can enjoy using your apps with no interruptions! More importantly, it’s time to optimize your monetization strategies. If you rely heavily on ads, it is time to optimize your ad placements and units, your eCPM, and the mobile ad network partners you choose to work with.  AppMonet connects developers with the largest brand advertisers for higher revenue. Being in the center of NYC, AppMonet has harnessed relationships with the largest brand advertisers and agencies which created unique brand demand. With one unified SDK, AppMonet supports all major video brands while maximizing and diversifying apps' brand advertising demand sources. We have been a trusted partner for many world renowned apps and we are certainly here to help! Get in touch today if you are looking to make higher revenue for your apps! Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how. {{ vc_btn:title=Get+in+touch%21&style=custom&custom_background=%231e73be&custom_text=%23ffffff&size=lg&align=center&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fappmonet.com%252Fcontact%252F%7Ctitle%3AContact%7C%7C }}

What apps can do to get a boost from increasing stay-home activities during the Coronavirus outbreak?

What apps can do to get a boost during the Coronavirus outbreak? Before we start, lysol your phone please.  In hard-hit areas that Coronavirus has widely spread, increasing people are confined to their homes. Employees will be working from home and students are taking classes via live streams. During the coronavirus outbreak last month, app usage in China has surged during the period when major cities were locked down. People are turning to games or socializing online for a sense of camaraderie and to help pass the time. Total game downloads on Apple's app store in China increased 27.5% year over year and revenue rose by 12.1%, according to market research firm Sensor Tower. Douyin, China’s TikTok grew by 102% as bored teens went to cloud raves, created humorous videos about their isolation. Video games such as PUBG by Tencent saw a significant increase in playing time and in-app spend.  While more people are stranded at home instead of traveling or socializing outside of the home, smartphones offer a way to connect with friends, alleviate boredom, or find crucial information on the Coronavirus outbreak. So what can your apps or games learn from Chinese apps’ success during the Coronavirus outbreak? AppMonet has put together a few key strategies to help you better engage your users and give them a peace of mind.  Make your app free or extend your promotions  Many Chinese video game companies have responded to the coronavirus outbreak by extending or introducing new promotions. Some games even changed their business models to make the games free with the option to make in-game purchases, as noted by Omdia, a tech research service. Make your users happy, help them connect for a much-needed dose of human contact, your sales would be soaring as people locked up in quarantine would pounce on anything to keep the blues of isolation away. A friendly reminder conveys your company value If you are a news or information related app, make sure you prioritize your information related to the Coronavirus virus so people would turn to your app to check the latest updates on Coronavirus. Even if you are not in the news/information category, a friendly reminder/push notification on following good respiratory hygiene shows you care about your users and reflects good company values.  It’s time to optimize your in-app advertising  With increasing time spent in the app, it’s time to think about how you could maximize your ad serving. Mobile advertising has now overtaken in app purchases as the primary money maker for app publishers. In-app banners and video ads are great ways to monetize your app but you need to be smart about the mobile ad network you decide to partner with. In addition, think about the ad formats that best fit your apps. In-app ads don’t have to be intrusive or pushy — when ads are highly targeted and present the right offers to the right users, they can add value for both the advertiser and the user. The wide variety of ad formats allow apps to accommodate the user experience in a way that isn’t disruptive. With unparalleled 3rd party [...]