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Top Digital Advertising Trends For 2019

This year will see exponential growth in advertising revenues from augmented reality apps as immersive computing continues to transform online campaigns. Other big developments in mobile advertising are on the horizon. Alex Khan writes on the six new trends we will see this year.

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Augmented reality (AR) is just one of several important trends that will come to the fore in 2019 as improving technology continues to provide creative marketing strategies. Here’s a look at the biggest trends to look for this year.

1. AR on the rise

It’s projected that half the world’s population will install some form of AR within five years, according to Digi-Capital, a Silicon Valley AR analyst. The returns will be in the billions, which is significant considering global augmented reality ad revenues registered just $166.7 million in 2017. By 2022 revenues from AR will reach $2.6 billion, with roughly a third of those revenues coming from virtual search.

Also in the sphere of augmented reality, games should make a strong comeback in 2019. After the wild success of Pokémon GO, which in 2016 became the fastest game to reach $1 billion in consumer spend, the AR games segment will be jump-started with the much-anticipated Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. When this free-to-play, location-based AR game launches this year, revenues could exceed $100 million in just 30 days, according to industry standard analytics source App Annie.

2. Mobile is King
AR will not be the only big story of the year. Notably, mobile will continue its takeover of digital advertising. In line with App Annie’s prediction that 60 per cent more apps will monetise through in-app advertising in 2019, advertisers will continue shifting away from desktop to reach users on mobile devices.

This year, the mobile advertising market will exceed $200 billion globally, according to eMarketer.  Apps will represent the lion’s share of ad spend. At the same time, video advertising will grow to be worth $37 billion, with mobile exceedingly becoming the platform of choice. Ad agency Zenith believes mobile ad spending will account for 30.5 per cent of all global advertising expenditure by 2020 — not just digital.

3. It’s Time for Header Bidding
The way publishers sell and agencies buy advertising will continue to evolve in 2019. After entering the mainstream on the web, header bidding is now making strides into smartphone app environments. In header bidding, publishers offer their inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously, as a way of getting rid of the “waterfall” approach that limited competition and prevented revenues from reaching their full potential.  

Mobile has been the driving factor in overall header bidding growth, which saw a 70 per cent increase over last year, according to Pubmatic, thanks to mobile web volumes more than doubling. Mobile web and apps are different beasts, so when in-app header bidding finally becomes available to in-app advertising this year, transparency within the mobile advertising ecosystem will increase.

4. Blockchain Becomes Mainstream
Likewise, blockchain has the potential to increase transparency on the web. After various efforts to marry blockchain and ad tech, trust is developing through the ability of distributed ledgers to limit fraud. Because blockchain can provide advertisers and publishers with a trustworthy record of campaigns, this tool could resolve transparency issues in campaign reporting.
Until now, it has been difficult to integrate blockchain into ad tech as the open nature of the platform makes it prone to revealing sensitive data. However, a secure private ledger in tandem with a registry which stores IDs and metadata for all users could make a big impact in 2019.

5. Rewarded Advertising Brings Rewards
Rewarded video ads, where offer consumers something of value in exchange for viewing an ad, have been seeing increasing spend. This will continue in light of how positively users have been responding to this format.

Rewarded video, also known as opt-in exchange advertising, is now being used across the digital ecosystem. The “rewards” given to users include everything from shopping discounts through promo codes to giving bonus lives in games.

Mobile ad spending for this format on the Smaato platform increased fourfold in 2018, and we expect this growth to continue throughout 2019.

6. 5G Shows Promise (Eventually)

Finally, in our predictions for this year, we should look at 5G mobile connections. Though this technology won’t be widespread in 2019, the ad tech industry is bound to start planning this year for the future.

Speeds in excess of 20 times faster than current 4G networks offer marketers and publishers tremendous opportunities, especially in video. It would be safe to say that streaming larger, higher-quality videos will lead to a dramatic increase in a consumer’s time spent watching this format.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
augmented reality advertising

Alex Khan

The author is Managing Director, APAC, Smaato

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