ExchangeWire Research polled 300 digital marketing professionals from around the world – both brand-direct media buyers and agency buyers – for Rubicon Project's fourth annual Global Mobile Survey.
It emerged that brand-direct media buyers purchase more native ads than any other mobile ad format and all (100%) of these buyers in North America, APAC and LATAM plan to increase their spend on mobile video this year. That falls to 90% of their counterparts in EMEA.
More than half prefer native advertising formats, compared to just 42% of media agency buyers, although that still represents a 32% year-on-year increase for the latter.
"This trend suggests that all advertisers are looking to engage users with more personalised, engaging and contextually integrated messaging," the report said.
These brand-direct media buyers are also increasingly purchasing mobile media in "brand safe" automated private marketplaces (PMPs), which make it easier for them to buy premium mobile inventory at scale.
Half of brand-direct media buyers say they plan to spend 81% to 100% of their mobile ad budgets in automated PMPs in 2016.
"The adoption of mobile private marketplaces is clearly a driving force in advertising today across all markets, with brands selecting the most premium publishers and app developers to execute private deals at scale," said Joe Prusz, SVP and global head of mobile for Rubicon Project.
"This shift, along with the rise of location data and the adoption of high-impact formats like mobile native and mobile video has made mobile advertising more than one quarter of all transactions in our global exchange."
Indeed, three-quarters of brand-direct media buyers expect that 81% to 100% of their mobile purchases will be location-enabled, compared to just 27% of media agency buyers.
Rebecca Muir, head of research and analysis at ExchangeWire Research, said: "It is highly probable that the rise in popularity of custom, native ad units is because these ad formats allow advertisers to be more creative within the ad unit and foster deeper engagement with consumers, therefore, they produce better results."
Data sourced from ExchangeWire Research; additional content by Warc staff