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5 Reasons Brave brands are embracing in-app advertising

According to eMarketer, the average adult will spend 3 hours, 37 minutes a day using mobile devices this year (excluding voice). Almost 80% of that time will be spent with apps.

Mobile advertising spend in the UK is expected to reach £16 billion by 2023, yet but only 5% is allocated to in-app activity.  Growth in investment has been driven by the social -media walled gardens.

Are brave brands are missing an opportunity with advertising in apps? 

Direct to Consumer competition

Across almost every sector, Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands are encroaching on traditional brands’ territory.  DTC businesses are often app-based, and they have expertise in developing strong, one-to-one relationships with their consumers.  They understand that their consumers are spending time in-app, and this is where they need to be to reach these consumers. 

First Party Data riches

Building up connections with consumers in-app environments can be a good source of first-party data, as the current generation of Demand-Side-Platforms (DSP) and Mobile Measurement Platforms (MMP) enable brands to capture mobile device IDs and build richer profiles of their customers across all devices.  Sophisticated brands are taking their own first-party data and using it to develop essential one-to-one relationships.

Brand safe, targetable and measurable - even without cookies

While in-app advertising has previously been perceived as non-transparent and potentially fraudulent, there have been huge advances in this space recently.  With the launch of the IAB’s app-ads.txt initiative, brand safety products spearheaded by IAS, and the Mobile Measurement Platforms’ solutions on fraudulent tracking, brands can now apply the same criteria that they apply in desktop environments to the in-app world with confidence.  The new generation of DSP partners - such as Beeswax - treat in-app advertising on an equal footing with other channels, and brands are taking the bold step to use these to target their consumers in apps.

Full screen video

On a mobile device, video ads run full screen and research shows they over-perform consistently, both in terms of branding and performance metrics.  Quite simply,  users are more engaged with the content. Full-screen adverts are also less “annoying” for users, as smart media owners are incorporating them in logical ways at naturally occurring breaks in an application. 

Access to brand safe environments - outside of the walled gardens

Certain categories of apps, such as gaming publishers like King.com and music services like Spotify or Global, provide, arguably, the most brand-safe environments, with no user-generated content or risk - especially when compared with YouTube and Facebook, where audiences are just as engaged.

In summary, there is a huge opportunity for traditional brands to learn from their DTC competitors by embracing in-app environments to take advantage of the opportunity, and to take ownership of their own valuable first-party data.


By Cadi Jones, Commercial Director EMEA at Beeswax