- Google, the tech giant that has a near-monopoly on the mobile search market globally, plans to remove a feature that lets advertisers put a blanket exclusion of mobile devices on ad campaigns. Starting next month, Google will stop the "adsenseformobileapps.com" placement exclusion and start serving ads to mobile apps, per a blog post.
- To prepare for the change, Google recommends that advertisers who place ads through the Google Display Network check the audience targeting settings on their digital campaigns to refine how mobile devices receive ads. Instead of letting advertisers target ads by mobile category — such as mobile app, mobile app interstitial or mobile web — Google will consolidate targeting into three categories of devices: mobile, tablet and computer.
- Google said advertisers should check campaign settings such as topic targeting, geographies, languages and devices. Marketers that are concerned about brand safety issues also should check their content exclusion settings to make sure their ads don’t appear next to objectionable content.
Google's removal of blanket ad exclusions for mobile devices may make some advertisers unhappy, especially those who haven't seen positive results from in-app mobile ads and want to block them entirely, per Search Engine Land. The company's change to its ad platform reflects the growing importance of in-app ads to the search company's revenue. Google's ad business grew 24% in Q2 2018 from a year earlier, and most of that growth came from mobile and automated ads, CFO Ruth Porat said.
Google needs to be mindful of the user experience as the company expands its mobile ad inventory. More than 80% of online users said they feel overwhelmed by the number of ads they see, with more than two-thirds saying ads they see are not relevant to them. The negative consumer experience has led eight out of ten to consider downloading an ad blocker, according to a study adtech firm OpenX commissioned with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and MediaMath.
The in-app advertising market will certainly grow more crowded as app developers look to build additional sources of revenue, especially in the gaming market. Last week, the company’s AdMob mobile advertising business formed a partnership with game development platform Unity Technologies to help marketers reach more gamers. The new partnership gives Google’s advertisers direct access to Unity's global mobile gaming ad inventory.
The global in-app advertising market is expected to surge from $72 billion last year to $201 billion by 2021, according to researcher App Annie. The broader mobile advertising market will increase to about 31% of global expenditure by 2020 from 19% last year, and is estimated to overtake broadcast TV by 2021, according to a forecast by Zenith. Mobile ad spend will outpace the global rate, which Zenith forecasts will increase 4.5% this year, in line with worldwide economic growth.