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Take Three: Highlights From The IAB’s Mobile Programmatic Playbook

Posted May 15, 2015

The physical differences between desktops and mobile devices are pretty obvious: You can’t put a desktop or laptop in your back pocket or purse – and sticking a Post-It Note to the screen of your smartphone would probably just be weird.

These differences are even more apparent when it comes to mobile advertising, simply because ads that work on bigger screens don’t always look or perform the same way on smartphones. Add programmatic buying and selling to the mix, and you have a set of variables that can get very complex, very quickly.

So what’s a premium publisher or app developer that’s curious about programmatic and mobile to do? One option is to check out the IAB’s Mobile Programmatic Playbook, which was recently published to help educate the industry about how to successfully approach these emerging opportunities.

At just 20 pages long, the full Playbook is worth a read for anyone focused on mobile content and app monetization. But read on for the three key themes that got us thinking:

  • Programmatic + native mobile video = a massive opportunity

In its section on buying considerations that are unique to mobile, the IAB cites in-feed ads as the area to watch:

“As growth in mobile video continues, advertisers and publishers will look for more opportunities to buy and sell placements that are native to an app or site’s user experience. These types of ads could be placed within an app’s newsfeed or could take on a similar look and feel as the app or site itself.”

(We, of course, couldn’t agree more.)

  • Real-time bidding is just the beginning

As we’ve noted, RTB is just one aspect of the programmatic value proposition. Mobile marketers and app developers have other ways to increase scale and efficiency with programmatic, including private marketplaces such as Opera Select. The IAB sees these RTB alternatives as a growth area:

“There will also be an increase in non-RTB programmatic upfront buying. This will come as ad companies expand programmatic guaranteed solutions into mobile video.”

  • There’s more to mobile video than just watching

Will users be able to talk back to mobile video ads – essentially becoming part of an advertiser’s story? What about mobile ads that offer full interactivity, and act like mini-applications within the parent app?

Though the IAB doesn’t offer a specific time frame or parameters for imaginative ads like these, the Playbook suggests that marketers’ dreams for mobile are getting bigger and more fantastic. In time, that means programmatic platforms will evolve to be able to make and target these customized, enhanced ad experiences in a scalable way.

The Playbook also tackles app developer and publisher concerns around inventory, measurement and viewability. You can also get a deeper understanding of the issues addressed in the Playbook by checking out this recap of the IAB’s latest panel on programmatic and mobile.


Photo credit: Somo Global

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