SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Mobile private marketplaces (PMPs) monetized impression volume increased by 37 percent year-over-year (YOY) in Q4 2017, adding to a long growth streak for mobile PMPs now spanning eight consecutive quarters, according to new research, which suggests an industry shift toward quality metrics.

Pubmatic, a sell-side platform, yesterday published its Q4 2017 Quarterly Mobile Index, which identifies trends in mobile advertising by analysing as many as ten trillion advertiser bids on a monthly basis. Pubmatic says the reason for the upswing in PMPs is due to continued advertiser interest in buying through programmatic channels. Their advantage, however, is in offering advertisers access to premium inventory alongside safeguards against ad fraud, all in a brand-safe environment. The findings come amid continued worry from brands about the quality of ad impressions and a media buying space marred with accusations of murkiness.

The shift toward quality has affected the perception of PMPs' value. Mobile PMP eCPMs globally were priced at a 155% premium in 2017, compared to those paid for the average mobile open exchange impression.

“We have seen a profound shift towards supply chain integrity and quality in 2017,” said Rajeev Goel, co-founder and CEO of PubMatic.

“We expect this trend towards quality and programmatic direct to continue in 2018 as advertisers increasingly demand higher standards for transacting. As an industry, we need to continue our efforts in giving buyers access to highly-engaged mobile audiences in a brand safe environment while providing sellers greater visibility and control.”

Last year, P&G’s marketing chief, Marc Pritchard, demanded change in some of the “crappy” practices that had grown up around media buying. More recently, Keith Week, CMO at Unilever, struck a more conciliatory tone, arguing that collaboration between brands and suppliers would help to achieve a sustainable digital media landscape.

Elsewhere, the report found that Mobile web experienced 121% YOY growth in header bidding impression volume in Q4 2017. At the same time, desktop inventory experienced an 81% YOY impression growth rate over the same period.

Sourced from Pubmatic; additional content by WARC staff