Mobile advertising was much less affected by the coronavirus pandemic when compared to desktop advertising during the first three months of 2020, according to PubMatic.

The findings from the digital technology company’s Q1 2020 Quarterly Mobile Index report showed mobile impression volume on publisher sites was flat between pre- and post-COVID-19 impact, while desktop volume declined.

In-app content consumption was also up because of the pandemic, with in-app viewership surging above volumes seen during the 2019 holiday season.

Shift from desktop to mobile is accelerating

Mobile was less impacted by coronavirus, with ad spending falling 15% post-impact (vs. desktop ad spending, which fell 25%). As a result, the shift in share from desktop towards mobile is happening at a quicker pace than before the pandemic. Total mobile share of global ad spending reached 51% by the end of Q1 from 48% at the beginning of March before the onset of the global pandemic.

In-app PMP ad spending expands across all regions

Advertisers swung budgets to in-app PMPs, away from the open market. Mobile in-app PMP volume rose 65% during the pandemic while desktop PMP volume fell 20% and in-app volume in the open market fell 15%. 

Within the first five weeks after lockdown, in-app PMP spending nearly doubled in each market: +99% in Americas, +96% in EMEA, +167% in APAC.

Mobile video ads contracted more than display

As one of the most expensive offerings, mobile video was first to be cut as advertisers slashed spending. Mobile video ad spending declined 27% whereas display fell 12% after impact. However, PubMatic noted that mobile video spending was expanding so quickly before the crisis that mobile video ad spend declined less than display in the quarter overall.

It added that the global mobile share of video ad spend remained constant at 49% in Q1 2020 over the last quarter, while the share varied across regions: Americas – 44%, EMEA – 67%, and APAC – 67%.

“Coronavirus has shifted consumer behaviour towards mobile. As the economy recovers, advertising will follow, giving publishers with advanced mobile advertising capabilities an advantage,” said Paulina Klimenko, SVP of corporate development and general manager of mobile at PubMatic. “While recent surges in viewership will likely recede through the summer and as stay-at-home orders ease, the preference for mobile will remain, which will drive advertisers to mobile over the long term.”

Sourced from PubMatic