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New Report: China Surges as Advertisers Amp Up Mobile Ad Spending

Home » Blog » New Report: China Surges as Advertisers Amp Up Mobile Ad Spending
Posted by Courtney Reich on June 14, 2017
Discover the Mobile Advertising Trends of Q1 2017

2017 started off with a bang for the mobile advertising world with both mobile ad spending and ad space values growing globally. For our recently released Q1 2017 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising, we analyzed over one trillion global mobile ad requests on the Smaato platform to gain insight into the latest mobile advertising trends. While the world's largest mobile advertising market (the US) continued to see healthy growth, China was the world's growth driver among the Top 10 global mobile advertising markets.

Mobile Ad Space More Valuable Than Ever Before

Advertisers valued mobile ad space more than ever in Q1 2017, as global mobile eCPMs grew almost 50% versus the same quarter last year. While this global growth was impressive, the performance of certain key countries and regions stood out far above the rest.

Both EMEA and the Americas saw steady gains from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017; however, APAC led all regions with a 139% increase in eCPMs. In addition, Vietnam and China posted the highest eCPM growth, not only in the APAC region, but worldwide — each increasing their mobile ad values by over 2.5X. As the second-largest market by mobile ad spending on the Smaato platform, China, in particular, is the country to watch as it trends upwards in the mobile advertising world.

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China Posts Highest Ad Spending Growth Worldwide

Mobile ad spending was also on the rise in Q1 2017 — up 14% globally from the same quarter last year. Of the Top 10 markets by ad spending on the Smaato platform, China stood out as the strongest performer, nearly doubling its mobile ad spending (+90% vs. Q1 2016). China’s mobile ad spending growth was also more than twice that of the next fastest-growing Top 10 markets: Australia (+37%), France (+23%) and Canada (+21%).

eMarketer forecasts suggest China will continue to grow rapidly and project China's overall mobile ad spending will increase 39% this year versus 2016 — although year-to-date growth on the Smaato platform exceeds that eMarketer projection. China ($36 billion in 2017, according to eMarketer) may still be second to the US ($58 billion) for now in terms of mobile ad spending, but the entire APAC region will likely pull ahead of North America by 2019 with the help of China's continued projected growth and developing markets such as Vietnam, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.¹ 

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Chinese/Lunar New Year Brought Good Fortune to APAC

Over 1/5 of the world’s population celebrates Chinese/Lunar New Year, which is a two-week-long holiday period that began on January 28 this year. With nearly three billion trips made inside China during this celebratory time, it is also the world’s greatest annual migration of people.²  But no matter how far they roam, these travelers never seemed to be far from their mobile devices.

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, drove significant increases in mobile device usage and retail sales in Q1 2017,³ and many of the countries that posted the highest Q1 2017 eCPM growth on the Smaato platform celebrated this holiday. 

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Analysis of the APAC region during this holiday period shows that Chinese/Lunar New Year had a clear effect on ad spending. For countries that celebrate Chinese/Lunar New Year, daily ad spending exceeded their Q1 mean daily ad spending in the period prior to this holiday. Thus, daily ad spending was below the overall Q1 daily average in the period thereafter. In non-celebrating countries, on the other hand, average daily ad spending was roughly consistent throughout the quarter. Thus, when comparing daily ad spending versus Q1 mean daily ad spending performance for celebrating versus non-celebrating countries, celebrating countries won before Chinese/Lunar New Year and non-celebrating countries won in the post-Chinese/Lunar New Year period. 

Overall, Chinese/Lunar New Year resulted in an 18% increase in mobile ad spending for celebrating countries versus neighboring non-celebrating countries.

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Additionally, as people were reaching for their smartphones to send messages and virtual red envelopes to family and friends, the number of unique mobile users in celebrating countries spiked over Chinese/Lunar New Year — rising 13% versus an average Q1 day.

For more information on what was driving mobile advertising’s growth and other key insights into the mobile advertising landscape, download our Q1 2017 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report.

In this report, you will also discover:

  • In-app advertising’s domination of the mobile advertising world
  • Which mobile markets led in-app advertising growth
  • How regional weather patterns affected the number of daily Weather app ad impressions
  • In which app categories advertisers invested the most ad dollars
  • Which app categories boasted the highest mobile ad values

Your Global Trends in Mobile Advertising Report

¹ eMarketer, April 2017
² Chinese Ministry of Transport, January 2017
³ Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM); AdMaster, February 2017

Written by Courtney Reich

Content Marketing Associate @ Smaato

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