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Mobile Monday: Millennials’ Smartphone Adoption Rate to Reach 94%, Over 182,000 Apps Use App-ads.txt

Posted Mar 9, 2020

The ongoing concern for fraud has been a major focus of the mobile industry with initiatives being created to combat the issue. In early 2019, IAB Tech Lab released the specification for app-ads.txt, a text file that a developer can upload to their website that lists the ad sources authorized to sell that app’s inventory. App publishers were encouraged to adopt this standard to better control their inventory in the market and prevent fraudulent traffic. Data has shown that there has been an exponential growth in adoption over the past year. Meanwhile, research says that millennials have the highest adoption rate of smartphones among generations. Get all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

94% of U.S. Millennials Will Have Smartphones in 2020
In a report from eMarketer, millennials are indicated to still be heavy users of digital technology but growth is at a standstill. Their usage has been more stable in the past year because they have settled into their preferred routines of usage and are not as interested in experimenting or discovering new media or technology. eMarketer’s data says that this generation is the largest faction of smartphone users in the United States with over 94% expected to own one by the end of the year.

US Smartphone Users, by Generation, 2020 (% of population)

Research by Nielsen showed that the category “apps/web on a smartphone” accounted for 38% of daily time spent by those aged 18 to 34 on a list of options that included live/time-shifted TV, radio, TV-connected devices, tablets and internet via desktop/laptop. Millennials have also started to remedy their mobile addictions. YouGov polled 20-to-37s and 58% of them said they “waste too much time” on their smartphones. Additionally, research from USA Today said that 63% of adults aged 25 to 34 reported attempting to reduce their usage of smartphones for everyday tasks.

5,550% Growth in App-ads.txt Adoption in 2019
Pixalate recently released their 2019 App-ads.txt and Ads.txt Trends Report which shares the latest trends around the IAB Tech Lab’s initiatives. The ad fraud intelligence company revealed that over 182,000 apps and over 1.2 million domains adopted app-ads.txt and ads.txt. Specifically, app-ads.txt has seen a 5,500% surge in adoption in 2019. The study also found that apps without app-ads.txt had 13% more invalid traffic.

Programmatic ad volume was also measured by Pixalate revealing that iOS has faster adoption for programmatic buyers. Approximately 73% of iOS top 1,000 programmatic apps have app-ads.txt, compared to 53% of the top 1,000 Android apps. “It’s encouraging to see ads.txt adoption reach critical mass, unlocking new scale and eliminating the risk of buyers going through unauthorized channels,” said Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate. “With the right checks and balances, brands can avoid buying misrepresented inventory in the programmatic supply chain.”

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