Market Overview

GDPR Changes Buying Behavior and Mobile Usage Continues Rapid Growth, Smaato Research Shows


SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smaato, the leading global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, today announced the publication of the Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report, analyzing the trillions of ad requests and impressions from their platform in the first half of 2018. While mobile continued to grow, the GDPR significantly altered the prices and demand for different types of mobile inventory in H1 2018. Spending on GDPR-compliant ad impressions increased by 6.5X in the period between May 25 and June 30, as more and more in-app publishers began offering compliant inventory.

Smaato research also shows that mobile ad prices increased 17% globally for non-targeted impressions in the period following the GDPR's start date, the result of targeted impressions rapidly decreasing as publishers sought to limit their exposure to GDPR scrutiny.

"Smaato has been a transparent partner to brands and publishers throughout GDPR implementation, and we're thrilled to be the first major platform to provide data about the effects of the regulation on prices and inventory demand," said Arndt Groth, President at Smaato. "We believe that the mobile advertising market benefits from having informed participants that can see the effects of major trends on their own advertising business."

Globally, the Smaato platform saw a 107% increase in mobile ad requests in H1 2018 compared to H1 2017, with the Americas region driving the most significant growth on the platform with an increase in ad requests of 181%. EMEA showed slower growth rates (23%) due to the effects of the GDPR. Interestingly, US traffic seemed to benefit the most from the GDPR with a 62% increase in eCPMs for non-targeted impressions, potentially as a result of many demand partners shifting increasing budget shares out of the EU and investing in US traffic.

"Smaato has seen a dramatic increase in the scale and demand for mobile advertising in the first half of 2018, even in light of the new European data privacy regulation (GDPR) shaking up the mobile advertising industry," said Ragnar Kruse, CEO and Co-Founder at Smaato. "Our research report provides valuable insights into where the growth is concentrated in a very dynamic global market, helping brands and publishers maximize their own position in mobile."

Smaato's report also covers information on APAC, retail, sports, and smartphone types:

  • Smaato finds that APAC, and particularly China, has advanced to a nearly exclusive app-driven advertising market, with 95% of APAC's mobile ad spending going to apps in H1 2018.
  • Over the course of H1 2018, mobile ad spending by retail brands on the Smaato platform more than doubled (+114%). Retail spenders preferred inventory from weather and health & fitness publishers.
  • Huge sports events are a perfect opportunity for mobile engagement. As consumers turned to their mobile devices for the Super Bowl, for example, both ad spending and eCPMs spiked +120% above the monthly average.
  • Smaato found higher demand for impressions on more expensive devices. iOS devices accounted for just 22% of ad impressions in the first half of 2018 yet make up 31% of all ad spending.

To download the full report, click here.

About Smaato
Smaato is the leading global real-time mobile advertising platform, connecting 10,000+ advertisers — including 91 of the Top 100 Ad Age brands — with over 90,000 app developers and mobile web publishers. Smaato manages up to 19 billion mobile ad impressions daily and reaches over one billion unique mobile users monthly. Founded in 2005 by mobile pioneers Ragnar Kruse and Petra Vorsteher, Smaato has global headquarters in San Francisco, California, with additional offices in Berlin, Hamburg, New York City, Shanghai, and Singapore. Learn more at

Emily Riley


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