Top Advertisers Share Latest App Install Marketing Trends

Posted Nov 3, 2016

How do the top mobile marketers maximize the performance of their app install campaigns to rise above the noise and acquire high quality, loyal users at scale? Which channels do they turn to, what’s changed in 2016, and what are they most excited for leading into 2017? To find out, AdColony recently surveyed marketers at 100 top grossing mobile app publishers, and the results are now available in the latest edition of the AdColony App Install Marketing Survey.

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While the full report features over 30 pages of data, the top charts and takeaways are below.


When asked how their campaigns have changed this year, top app install marketers revealed a familiar set of trends. In short, budgets are increasing as media mixes shift more toward video and advertisers are increasingly seeking more global audiences. Meanwhile, while the desire to test out new channels is strong, advertisers are slightly less adventurous than they were in 2015, and are likewise culling the number of partners they work with.


Diving deeper into the campaign shifts in 2016, it’s evident that while traditional media piqued advertiser interest in 2015, they are now turning away from these channels in favor of more interactive formats, which is reflected by the app install use rate by channel.


In aggregate, over 98% of top app install marketers include mobile video in their channel mix. Within this, full-screen video and social video are the most common. Meanwhile, 94% of advertisers also use display in their media mix, with full-screen interstitial display being the most common.

Indeed, the two app install formats most used by the top performance marketers are full-screen units, a testament to the desire to maximize on-screen real estate to make a strong impression.  Of course, when it comes to making an impression that drives meaningful campaign results, the effectiveness of video is clear.


According to the top mobile marketers, the top three app install formats are all video: full-screen video, social video, and in-feed video top the chart. Simply put, nothing beats the power of sight, sound, and motion when it comes to captivating and engaging mobile audiences. The next most effective app install channels — social display, native, and playable ads — also offer various types and levels of engagement, a desirable trait for marketers.


Not surprisingly, the channels that are the most effective also receive the greatest budget allocations. Combined, mobile video accounts for 48% of app install budgets, with display trailing at 32%.

Native and playable ads, which have been growing in popularity in recent months, now account for a combined 11% of mobile app install spend. Other formats on the decline, such as cross promotion and incentivized channels now account for only 5% of spend, slightly ahead of traditional media’s 3% share.

The Full Report
The charts shared above are just a small preview of the data included in the full report, which features over 30 additional charts examining the top trends in app install marketing. To get the full story, download the official report here:

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About the Study
The Q3 2016 App Install Marketing survey is the 6th of its kind since 2013. The survey provides insights, benchmarks, and trends from the top 100 grossing app developers, asking over 100 detailed questions and enjoying a 65% survey response rate. 62% of respondents represented mobile game developers, and 38% represented non-gaming developers for various app categories, including entertainment, music, news, and others.

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