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Mobile Monday: COVID-19’s Impact On Global Ad Spend, Gaming Dominates List of Top Mobile Publishers

Posted Mar 29, 2020

Industries across the globe have had to adjust quickly during the recent spread of Coronavirus. Constant changes in markets have caused companies to dramatically increase or decrease their advertising spend. Pubmatic has released an infographic with updated global ad spends during the first half of March. Meanwhile, App Annie revealed their annual list of top mobile publishers for 2020. Read all about it in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Coronavirus Causes Huge Shifts in Advertising Spend
Sell-side advertising platform PubMatic has provided updated data on advertising spend since the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March. As expected, total global ad spend declined slightly as economies around the world reacted promptly. While some categories experienced steep ad spend drops, others have seen upticks in spend. 

News increased 52% between March 1 and March 18 as audiences are constantly monitoring those channels for the latest developments. With many regions encouraging or mandating social distancing, people have more free time causing hobbies and interests’ spend to go up 31%. Technology and computing (+14%) and education (+13%) have also seen increases due to work and school being shifted to people’s homes. The biggest drop was in law, government, and politics (-72%) while unsurprisingly, travel (-65%) and sports (-40%) also had significant decreases. 

App Annie’s Top Mobile Publishers for 2020
App Annie’s recent annual list of the highest-earning mobile publishers revealed that game publishers came out on top. Based on revenue estimates from the App Store and Google Play, Tencent, NetEase, and Activision Blizzard all held their respective spots as the top three publishers for the second year in a row. Additionally, only new entries made the top ten including Platyika and InterActiveCorp. The biggest movers in games publishing were Zynga and Scopely with big jumps since last year, both rising ten places to 11th and 41st respectively.

Publishers headquartered in Asia had the most success of any region representing more than half of the list, with 27 of the 52 positions overall, and five out of the top ten. The United States is the leading country with 17 positions overall and two of the top ten places. Social brands mixi and Line made the top 20 because of strong performances from their games and entertainment apps. IAC and Netflix have also seen huge growth as the demand for streaming entertainment and dating app continues to rise. The list in its entirety can be viewed on App Annie’s website.

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