The year 2012 was a first for a number of things: The first Olympics to broadcast in HD and 3D, the first implantation of a bionic eye, the first female astronaut China sent into space.
And it was the first time someone broke the sound barrier without mechanical assistance, as Red Bull sent Felix Baumgartner hurtling from the stratosphere at 843.6 mph garnering massive press coverage – leaving marketers with mouths agape thinking, Why didn’t I think of that first?
It was also the year that Opera Mediaworks released its first report on the mobile advertising market, with the purpose of helping publishers and advertisers dive into the mobile space, which at the time was relatively new. To get an idea of just how new, in her 2012 trends report, KPCB’s Mary Meeker was citing “rapid mobile adoption but still in early stages,” citing mobile as a $20 billion opportunity in the U.S., given that it represented 10% of time spent in media but only 1% of ad spend.
One percent? Flash forward just four years, and in the same report it’s 24% of media time spent and 8% of ad spend. More importantly, across all digital forms of media, mobile is now #1 for time spent, surpassing desktop in ad spend – and is projected to take 70% of digital ad dollars by 2019.
Times have certainly changed.
The report that we started in 2012 was designed to provide a broad perspective on mobile, with data points around device and OS adoption, regional growth rates, top categories for impressions and revenue, and other statistics that gave a picture of the state of the industry. Hence the name: The State of Mobile Advertising.
We distributed it out to clients as a way to keep them up to date on mobile trends, and with every quarterly release, highlights from the reports were covered by both trade and mainstream media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Digiday, Adweek, MediaPost, Quartz, VentureBeat and The Drum, among many others.
We witnessed some major trends: the explosion of Android devices, the lightning-fast adoption of mobile video, the birth of the valuable in-app advertising ecosystem. And we saw mobile advertising spread across the globe, with emerging markets like Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East taking up larger and larger shares of impressions and revenue.
But as we’ve seen, mobile is changing – fast. The way people use their smartphones and tablets is different today than it was even just a few months ago, and campaign strategy and creative is evolving along with it. It seems like every day, a new ad-serving technology or never-before-seen ad unit comes into existence. As the mobile advertising industry hurtles forward at Red Bull Stratos-like speeds, the needs of our clients are accelerating, too.
The need for change
That’s why we decided to take a fresh approach to our mobile ad report, re-making it for the next era of mobile marketers. We thought about the types of questions we hear during agency meetings, the information gaps we see in the market, and the emerging trends that haven’t been uncovered or properly explained. We tapped into the brains of our leadership team, leveraging their decades of mobile expertise. And we worked with our in-house creative team to ensure that the information was presented the same way you like your mobile ads: highly visual, but with clear, insightful messaging.
We are now pleased to introduce the first quarterly release of Mobile First Insights.
Why mobile first? We chose this phrase not to emphasize the “mobile first” trend, which could describe either the shift to mobile by traditional media companies or the popularity of mobile-native companies like King, Uber, Waze and Snapchat. For some clients, mobile is not first, and it certainly doesn’t have to be. Every publisher needs a custom monetization strategy for all of their channels, and every brand has its own unique marketing and media mix.
Rather, we chose to use the phrase as a way to describe our overall philosophy of putting mobile first. That is, mobile is such a unique medium, with such nuances and sophistication, that we strongly believe it takes a monetization and marketing partner with in-depth, innate understanding to take full advantage of its potential. Opera Mediaworks is a mobile-first company in that we are solely focused on the mobile medium, creating innovative brand experiences on smartphones and tablets that deliver real outcomes for our clients.
Why insights? In contrast to our previous report, where we presented the data from our platform in a third-party way, much like an industry analyst, we wanted to add in some additional layers of insight for publishers and advertisers, with tactical takeaways that they could use immediately to drive their business forward.
So, we organized the report into three sections: DATA, TECHNOLOGY, and CREATIVITY.
- DATA. The report opens with a set of statistics (derived both from our own platform and other sources) that paint a picture of where we are today, including “where the heat is” in the mobile app market and how consumers are interacting with mobile content and advertising messages.
- TECHNOLOGY. Each quarter, we will introduce a new technology, or more fully explain an existing one, that we know will have a significant impact on the industry. In doing this, we hope that both publishers and advertisers will be able to make more informed decisions based on their new understanding of often-hard-to-understand technological advances.
- CREATIVITY. Pulling from the hundreds of global ad campaigns running each day on our platform, we will show examples of stunning design, dynamic and custom messaging, and key targeting and technology integrations that demonstrates the true power of purpose-built mobile creative. With commentary from our brand and agency partners, we will also share the impact of cutting-edge creative on KPIs and long-term outcomes.
Read the first edition of Mobile First Insights here, available today from Opera Mediaworks.
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