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Smaato says the sharp rise of mobile RTB in Asia is helping to solve the monetization problem – China led by entertainment and gaming

Press Release   •   May 07, 2014 10:14 SGT

California, U.S. / Singapore / Shanghai, China – May 7, 2014 – Global mobile RTB (Real-Time Bidding) spend increased by 459% in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013, according to the 2014 Q1 insights report by leading global mobile RTB ad exchange and Supply Side Platform Smaato. This remarkable performance has been linked to its ability to address monetization issues faced by publishers.

Smaato owns and operates the leading global mobile RTB ad exchange and Supply Side Platform (SSP). Smaato’s SMX platform helps 76,000+ publishers monetize their inventory across 240+ Ad Networks and Demand Side Platforms. SMX has access to 70 billion+ ad impressions per month from ad-serving platforms across 450MM unique users.

Smaato, who participated in the recently concluded Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) this May in Beijing, found that in China, ad categories of shopping, e-commerce, communication and technology had the highest eCPM of $0.30 in Q1. In terms of mobile RTB ad spend, entertainment (30%) and games (22%) emerged as the top two categories in the country for the first quarter.

The key to mobile RTB performance, according to Smaato CSO Ajitpal Pannu, has been the combination of self-serve controls and data. “Publisher controls combined with support from Smaato’s publisher partner managers, educating our application developers on value of each impression and marrying that impression from ad-request to bid-request across 240+ demand sources in SMX platform increased fill-rates and spend,” says Pannu. “We also found that monetization and brand spend was driven higher when key parameters (location, Device ID, gender and age range) were passed globally to advertising partners.”

In fact, eCPMs increased by up to 321% when location and Device ID are present in a bid request and increased more than 150% when gender and age range data were included.

According to Gartner[1], global mobile advertising spending is forecast to reach $18.0 billion in 2014, up from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013. At Smaato the above growth rate is much higher because Smaato’s global mobile RTB ad-exchange has seen global brand spend increase significantly for APAC inventory. In Smaato’s Q1 2014 Mobile RTB report 89 of top 100 Adage brands had bought media through our demand partners on the SMX exchange. Most importantly Gartner expects the high-growth economies of China and India to contribute increasingly to mobile advertising growth as their expanding middle classes present attractive markets for global and local brands.

It is something to note for advertisers looking into increasingly smartphone-savvy markets such as those in the Asia Pacific, where markets like Hong Kong (87%), Singapore (87%), and China (71%) have high smartphone penetration rates. Asia Pacific markets in fact, have been generally receptive to mobile advertising – nine in 10 of smartphone users in China and 87% of smartphone owners in India have clicked on mobile advertisements back in December 2013.[2]

Mobile monetization is a challenge for publishers, as it requires them to implement and manage multiple SDKs (Software Developments Kits) version controls as well as a general the lack of knowledge and expertise in mobile monetization. Mobile RTB has therefore become an important source in filling the monetization gap by providing one connection that grants instant access to a big pool of global ad inventory.

Other findings from Smaato’s recent report reveal that India and Indonesia are leading in APAC in terms of auction share, with both countries contributing a combined 80% across APAC and had the highest uplift in mobile RTB auctions in Q1 of 2014.


[1] Gartner says mobile advertising spending will reach $18 Billion in 2014, January 21 2014, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2653121

[2] The Asian Mobile Consumer Decoded, http://www.nielsen.com/ph/en/insights/news/2014/asian-mobile-consumers.html


About Smaato

Smaato is the leading global mobile RTB ad exchange (SMX) helping mobile app developers and publishers increase ad revenues worldwide. As an industry pioneer and leader, Smaato operates the leading mobile RTB ad exchange and Supply Side Platform across 76,000+ mobile app developers and mobile publishers. On demand side Smaato globally connects 100+ Ad Networks and 140+ DSPs.

Smaato is an initial member of the OpenRTB Mobile subcommittee and an active member of the Mobile Marketing Association, Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), Singapore Infocomm Industry (SITF), Singapore IT Federation and the German Digital Media Association BVDW. Smaato received a Top 100 Private Company Award by AlwaysOn Media (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 & 2007), is one of the AlwaysOn Global 250 winners in the Mobile category (2013, 2012 & 2011) and was named a “company to watch in 2010″ by Financial Analyst Company GP Bullhound.

Smaato’s global headquarters are in San Francisco, California. The privately held company was founded in 2005 by an experienced International management team. Smaato’s European office is in Hamburg, Germany and the APAC office is in Singapore.


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We are run out of Singapore and serve clients in Asia Pacific and beyond through our strong links to Europe and North America.

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