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The costs of advertising to get mobile users to install apps is high in the U.S., but Asian countries are catching up, according to the third annual Mobile In-App Ad Monetization performance index from Appodeal.

In a 54-page report, Appodeal, a division of Stack, analyzed the latest data that can give insights for mobile app publishers on the top earning mobile ad networks, ad exchanges, and other things.

Here are the top six key insights listed by Appodeal.

Asia catching up to U.S.

The U.S. market’s eCPMs (effective cost per 1,000 impressions, a measure of advertising costs) remained top in most ad formats, with East Asia and Australia catching up. For rewarded videos on iOS, the U.S. reached an eCPM average of $15.82, followed by China, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia, with eCPMs ranging from $11.86 to $13.65.


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Ad costs vary significantly between Apple and Google

The eCPM gaps between iOS and Android devices showed significantly wider margins in developing markets than mature markets. In mature markets, such as the U.S., Japan, and the U.K., the eCPMs of rewarded videos were 21% to 34% higher on iOS than on Android devices. However, in developing markets, such as Russia, Brazil, and India, the eCPMs were 98% to 352% higher on iOS than on Android devices.

Demand-side platforms winning more ad impressions

Demand-side platforms, which allow buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange accounts through one interface, were winning more ad impressions in the new in-app header bidding environment.

Since header bidding made its debut in the mobile in-app world in mid 2018, DSPs gained new opportunities to compete with ad networks in real time for ad impressions. DSPs that bid through Appodeal’s built-in header bidding-powered ad exchange, BidMachine, collectively won significant ad impressions, and even surpassed historically top earning ad networks in the rankings. One DSP in particular, Liftoff, performed especially well.

Furthermore, the performance index dives deeper into the eCPM trends of rewarded videos, interstitials, and banners and ranks the top-earning ad demand sources in Appodeal’s top three monetizing regions: the U.S., Western Europe, and Eastern Europe (including Russia).

Rewarded video costs rising

Above: Rewarded video ad costs are rising.

Image Credit: Appodeal

Rewarded videos’ eCPMs continued to climb up but at a more modest pace than the previous year. For example, the U.S.’s rewarded videos on iOS and Android both saw their eCPM increased by 13% to a high average of $15.18 and $12.68 respectively from H2 2018 to H1 2019 compared to the same period the previous year. Some of the top-earning ad networks from the three regions analyzed for rewarded videos were AdMob, Facebook, AppLovin, Unity Ads, BidMachine, and MyTarget.

Interstitial ad costs up on Android in U.S. and Europe

Interstitials’ eCPMs increased significantly on Android in U.S. and Western Europe. Interstitials, which include static, video, and playable variants, showed impressive eCPM growth on Android by 27% to an average of $6.35 in the U.S. and by 21% to an average of $2.38 in Western Europe from H2 2018 to H1 2019 compared to the same period the previous year. Some of the top-earning ad networks for interstitials were AdMob, Facebook, AppLovin, Unity Ads, BidMachine, Ogury, and Yandex.

Banners still matter for revenues, but on the decline

Banner ads were still important for the revenue base, but their eCPMs showed signs of decline. Banners accounted for around a quarter of the ad revenue share. However, on Android in Western Europe, the category’s eCPMs decreased by 27% to an average of $0.16 from H2 2018 to H1 2019 compared to the same period the previous year, and decreased by 15% on iOS over the same period. Interestingly, in the U.S. its eCPMs actually increased by 13% to an average of $0.62 on iOS. Some of the top-earning ad networks for banners were AdMob, MoPub, BidMachine, Amazon Ads, AppLovin, Yandex, and MyTarget.

The index draws analysis from the eCPM performance of more than 150 billion ad impressions delivered globally through Appodeal’s ad mediation of 60-plus ad demand sources in over 40,000 apps during the first half of 2019.

San Francisco-based Appodeal is one of the ad monetization products of Stack.

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