What Mobile Ad Gap?
It’s become accepted wisdom that publishers face major challenges in mobile, where imprecise targeting, uninspired creative and simple technical limitations have made mobile ads far less lucrative than those shown to desktop users.
Perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there’s a school of thought that publishers are to blame for the problems they face in mobile. Most are still woefully behind in building their technology chops and relegate mobile to an afterthought to desktop. They are, in short, bad technologists. There’s also the concept of the mobile ad discount, where publishers have immediately compromised on pricing for ads shown to a user. That would mean their bad businesspersons.
For q&a site Answers, which sees a third of its traffic on mobile, there is no gap. COO Peter Horan, speaking at the Digiday Publishing Summit, noted that while a third of its traffic is in mobile, over half its pageviews are there. That’s because it has designed an experience for mobile based on the swipe common to iPhones. Going to that approach resulted in a fivefold increase in consumption. And 32 percent of its mobile users are unique, Horan added.
“We’d just be as happy if 100 percent of traffic is mobile,” he said.
Mashable, which sees about 32 percent of its traffic from mobile, is betting on using responsive and adaptive design principles — and to stop offering mobile discounts. CTO Robyn Peterson said treating ads differently in mobile is a mistake many publishers make. “We have no mobile discount,” he said in a session at DPS.
The outlook from both stands in stark contrast to the doom and gloom often heard about mobile advertising. The Atlantic has a new piece on how awful mobile is for publishers. It notes the standard bill of particulars — no cookie, bad creative, uncertain analytics — while adding in the idea that mobile in particular suffers from fractured attention spans. As the author notes, none of these are insurmountable — and they are all arguably real.
But for publishers the job is solving them. Horan goes so far as to shift a big part of the blame on publishers for not taking mobile seriously enough. They often pay it lip service, he suggested. Peterson said too many publishers segregate out a “mobile team.” That’s a mistake, he argued, since every developer must think mobile first.
And the largest issue might be cultural. Over 15 years into the commercial Internet, many publishers are still far behind in technology chops. There’s a reason over two-thirds of display ad revenue went to technology companies last year, Peterson warned. “Engineering is part of media,” he said.
Image via Shutterstock
Cheat Sheet: At IAB Podcast Upfront, diverse voices take center stage while podcast advertising revenue and audiences boom
Most of the companies that presented at the IAB Podcast Upfront signaled they had or were going to add more diversity to their programming, both in hosts and content.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What media companies’ latest earnings reports say about the state of the industry
Media companies' Q1 earnings reports signaled a continued return to business as usual — for better or worse, depending on the company's digital business.
‘Brands tend to be selective’: OMG report offers options to media buyers facing upfront inventory crunch
With a tight upfront TV marketplace expected, one agency group is recommending alternatives in video and CTV.
SponsoredHow The Company Store is reimagining customer experiences for pandemic-era growth
Throughout the pandemic, some retail categories have been inherently successful. Home furnishings and décor are among them; with consumers spending so much more time at home, updates and renovations flourished. Criteo data from the first half of 2020 showed sales for items like outdoor furniture sets up 434% year over year, with other home items […]
‘You’re fixing a number, not changing the culture’: Confessions of a media exec on diversity quotas
In the rush to improve diversity rates, businesses are in danger of overlooking more fundamental ways to sustain inclusivity in the workplace, according to our latest Confessions interviewee.
‘Direct revenue driver’: How local broadcaster News 12 is partnering with Google to build a younger audience
Local broadcaster used support and funding from Google News Initiative to build a new tool that can automatically identify and feed video content into new website verticals.