New indexes from Fiksu, a respected data-fueled mobile marketing technology company, revealed some interesting trends in November.
To begin with, the RTB market appears to be responding to key factors in the mobile industry including holiday spend, iPhone adoption, and Android maturity. Notably, media costs went down across both platforms despite expectations of holiday increases.
“In contrast to the expected seasonal impact, the cost to buy ad space on the Android platform is still lower than on iOS, with RTB CPMs falling to $3.59 in November on Android and $5.99 on iOS,” according to the Fiksu crew. “Costs across the iOS platform remained relatively flat month over month, with cost per purchaser (CPP) rising only 1 percent since October and CPM falling 11 percent.”
The Index reports that CPP on Android has now surpassed iOS, rising 16 percent in the month of November and showing robust YOY growth, up 225 percent since November 2015.
“As these numbers illustrate, it was slightly less expensive to buy ads in November, but more expensive to compete for users’ attention,” said Tom Cummings, VP for new market strategy at Fiksu DSP.
In addition, because iPhone 7 adoption has been historically low, many marketers were less bullish on iOS than they have been during previous device launches — and prices adjusted accordingly.
Fiksu’s data also shows that holiday budgets are being spread more strategically.
“In years past, marketers have been quick to increase mobile ad spend in November as part of the run up to the hectic mobile holiday season,” notes the report. “This year’s departure from that trend may indicate that marketers have become more strategic and might be allocating those November dollars to December and January. That tends to be a highly efficient way to reach users, as new devices are being filled with apps for weeks after being activated. In the past, marketers who spend in January tend to get more value, since the rest of the market was competing for space in November. As more brands catch on to this longer-tail strategy, competition in January may increase.”
A bit of equalization may finally be coming to fruition.
“While the November indexes show indications of some unexpected behavior, it’s clear that we’re reaching a point of relative parity between iOS and Android,” added Cummings. “Publisher costs are down, engagement is up, but it’s not easy to master the combination of finding the right person at the right time to make them buy something. With another Christmas behind us, it will be interesting to see what kind of story the December numbers tell.”