Mobile Monday: Looking Back and Forward with Digital Turbine, AdColony, and Fyber
Throughout the year, Digital Turbine has kept you up-to-date with the latest news, trends, and developments in the mobile world. As the year winds down, we are looking back at another year of evolution in mobile and where we think the industry is headed next. Read on for 2021’s last Mobile Monday!
The Year in Retrospect and Our Crystal Ball
At the turn of 2021, we were all talking about 5G, Apple’s recently introduced depreciation of IDFA, and what mobile would look like coming out of COVID (Remember when we thought it might actually end?). But what really happened? Here’s our top 3 things of 2021:
- Privacy is Here to Stay.
We saw the first realities of Apple’s privacy push and nothing blew up. And even if Google delayed their privacy changes, it’s apparent to all that mobile targeting will change.
- Industry Consolidations Abound.
Applovin and Adjust. InMobi and AppSummer. LiftOff and Vungle. Zynga and Chartboost. Digital Turbine and Fyber. Digital Turbine and AdColony. Digital Turbine and Appreciate. OK – you get the picture. But we saw the mergers and consolidations to bundle a lot of the ad stack.
- Mobile Usage Continued to Grow.
While we may have thought our reliance on Mobile might ease up with the pandemic, this year showed that consumer reliance on mobile is stronger than ever. Who would have thought – the world being less mobile (due to stay at home trends) would lead to using mobile more?
The industry changes above certainly set us up for an interesting year ahead. Here are Digital Turbine’s top 3 things to look for:
- The Year of APP-ortunity
The good news is with mobile usage up, users are out there to be had. The bad news is that privacy has made user acquisition a challenge. In 2022, the industry will rise to the challenge. The first of its kind APP-ortunity report for shopping revealed how different strategies can apply depending on how consumers feel about your app. Expect this sort of predictive insight to help advertisers capture the opp… err, APP-ortunity.
- Let’s Get Metric-al
With privacy changes here to stay, expect the industry to work together to create new, privacy friendly ways of tracking campaign success. While the walled gardens still exist, you’ve seen enough challenge to them that hopefully you’ll see some of those walls come down and give people a better understanding of the true value of their ad spend.
- Advertising and Content, The Best Combo Since Chocolate and Peanut Butter
We’ve already seen a major rise in how big brands are marketing. Take, for example, the rise of influencer marketing through platforms like TikTok where brands allow social media influencers to tout their products through their produced content. This trend will rise and explode in 2022 where you’ll see such a seamless connection between content and advertising that, as a consumer, you might not even recognize the difference.
What to Expect from Mobile Users & Advertisers in 2022
For the mobile industry, 2021 has been a wild ride — in more ways than one. Based on what we’ve seen this year, trends will continue that involve consumer time and shopping on mobile, privacy updates, and industry adaptations.
- Advertisers will keep allocating ad budgets to Android because of its valuable audience
With the release of iOS 14.5 and then later 15, the world of adtech and mobile advertising has had to adjust and redefine strategies for success. User opt-in to tracking with Apple’s updates brought lower addressability on OS, however, the numbers were not as low as some predicted. That being said, brands and advertisers have begun shifting ad spend to Android devices after realizing the vast audiences that can be reached through this channel, and this trend will continue on after the new year.
- Privacy measures will move contextual targeting into the spotlight
Apple’s privacy changes have also affected the industry in terms of how advertisers reach consumers. On both iOS and Android devices, advertisers will lean into contextual targeting in order to reach the right audiences in a privacy-focused space. And there will be plenty of audiences to reach on mobile with consumers continually increasing their time and functionality with smartphones.
- Shopping and socialization will continue mobile’s reign
In 2021, users continued to spend time on mobile and make smartphones their go-to device for shopping, fun, ordering food, and so much more, even with pandemic lockdown restrictions ebbing and flowing. More and more, users are looking to their mobile devices to shop, with purchases ranging from small to life-changing, and to relax and have fun in addition to staying connected with friends and family through messaging, social media, and even mobile games. So in 2022, it is expected that consumers will continue to prioritize mobile devices and up the uses for their devices, advertisers and brands will follow those consumers to mobile devices and advertise there, and privacy and tech updates will lead to ad spend on Android and contextual-based targeting.
User-first mobile mindset will become a priority
2021 was a record-breaking year for mobile. It was also one of the most eventful. From almost everyday consolidations, Apple’s privacy changes (that are here to stay), ATT rollout to SKAdNetwork; app developers did not cease to create and grow their app businesses. Similarly, app users did not cease to use their mobile apps. So how do we see things evolving in 2022? Take a look.
- Mobile gaming in 2022 is expected to pursue its upward trajectory.
Newzoo predicts that the global mobile games market will grow with a +11.2% compound annual growth rate (2019- 2024) to reach $116.4 billion in 2024. For the most part, the pandemic was instrumental in accelerating trends and bringing more users to the mobile world. To pass lockdown time, more time was spent on mobile and more users are seeking social interactions. Consumers are now averaging 90min of smartphone gaming daily. With that, consumer app spend shot up, and brands finally started to recognize the power of finding themselves literally in the palm of the users’ hands.
- Understanding how users engage with genres and ad formats.
With the increased shift to mobile advertising, we’ll likely continue to benefit from the mobile device’s ability to deliver the best experiences to users. This will also require a deeper understanding of how consumers engage with different game genres, and different ad formats, as well as delivering a tailored creative approach that will resonate with the users.
- Developers are leveraging in-app bidding solutions.
We expect developers to hone in deeper on their games and the UX, and together fuse ad tech and monetization tools to maximize revenue. To do this, developers are leveraging in-app bidding solutions in their mediation platforms, which enables them to maximize their monetization and automate time-consuming processes. The game studios that will come out as winners, in terms of revenue, are the ones that will take genre-specific trends into consideration and carefully craft their monetization tactics.