Though growth is happening, advertisers in France face hurdles with mobile ads
Mobile devices are central to the evolution of programmatic advertising in France and will be the main driver of medium-term growth. eMarketer estimates that mobile programmatic outlays accounted for about one-third of all programmatic ad spending in the country in 2015—but that share will reach 53.7% in 2017 and pass 68% in 2018, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Programmatic Advertising in France: Publishers Help Spur Transformation of Digital Ad Landscape” (eMarketer PRO customers only).
The number of mobile ad impressions available for programmatic buying in France more than tripled between January 2014 and August 2015, from 5.8 billion to 18.3 billion, according to a study for France’s Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) conducted by its Groupe de Travail Programmatique. (The data was collected by AdotMob, Adsquare, Dentsu Aegis Network, NetEdge, La Place Média, S4M and Smart RTB+, and then pooled and averaged to produce the analysis.)
TubeMogul also registered steady increases in the share of France’s mobile advertisers investing in programmatic ads between January and November 2015, though the gain was not as dramatic as in some other countries sampled.
Though mobile is growing in importance every day, advertisers in France face hurdles with mobile ads, according to VivaKi’s Rouet. The complexity of data analysis is a big issue, as is cross-device measurement. There’s lot of competition for advertiser spending, he noted, but brands can often find their budgets spread across a wide range of inventory, including a lot of remnant positions. Many advertisers have looked to form partnerships with trading desks or other players that can simplify and rationalize the mobile picture for them.
Open exchanges may dominate among mobile advertisers using RTB at the moment, but their influence will gradually decline, according to David Pironon, COO and director of sales and operations at SmartAdServer, which views the market chiefly from the publishers’ perspective. By contrast, Rouet already sees PMPs in a commanding position where his clients are concerned. On mobile devices, the virtues of PMPs often outweigh those of open auctions. The same is true for Publicitas clients, according to Dominic Yacoubian, head of digital for EMEA at the media and advertising services company. Most of Publicitas’ campaigns run on premium media in multiple geographies, and that requires greater control over where ads are placed, when, and at what price.
In the MMA’s breakdown of ad inventory available programmatically across mobile devices in France from July to September 2015, smartphones claimed the lion’s share (81%) of the total, and greater availability of in-app inventory than placements on the mobile web. Options on Apple devices were also more numerous than on Android tablets and smartphones.
Analyzing the formats of programmatic mobile inventory available in Q3 2015, the MMA found rich media banners and interstitials accounted for nearly two-thirds (62%) of total impressions. Static banners and interstitials made up most of the rest.
Just as native and pre-roll placements weren’t widely available in Q3 2015, most mobile programmatic inventory didn’t reflect the potential to use geolocation. Only 29% of programmatic impressions had this capacity, according to the MMA.
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