The digital ad space will continue to grow and prosper in 2017, but certain risks. There will be more opportunities for ad placements within mobile apps and mobile messaging programs, but at the same time fake ad traffic generated by bots will continue to burn through advertisers' budgets and erode trust in digital advertising.
Here are seven mobile ad trends that will shape the digital advertising landscape in 2017.
- Bots multiply - Mobile advertising is attracting more and more budgets and more ad bots. About 59.5% of Google's net global ad revenues will come from mobile internet ads this year, up from about 45.8% in 2015. By 2018, nearly three-quarters of Google's net ad revenues worldwide will come from mobile ad placements. But the dynamic surge in mobile traffic will also make more room for fake views and clicks. As a result, mobile ad fraud will become more dominant in 2017.
- Ads appear on messaging apps - Facebook's Mobile Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat, are proof that there is a continued and growing wish for consumers to communicate directly outside of public social network pages. This is really the last frontier for social media monetization, so we can expect to see new options for paid media on messaging apps next year.
- Teaming up to build trust - Unlike verifications tools that are about finding fraud and shutting it down, there will be more initiatives to communicate what's working and what's not, so that customers and traffic sources can work together to clean up traffic instead of blocking it. By pinpointing specific impressions, categorizing the problem and then providing actionable data in real time, publishers can work with mediators to become part of the solution instead of being labeled as the problem.
- Cyberattacks from ad bots - Bots that create fake clicks and views can also steal credit cards. The tools used to protect advertising, will begin to resemble systems used to protect personal financial data from hackers. The worlds of cyber-security and anti-ad fraud will merge using many of the same techniques to detect bots.
- China's rapid mobile ad spend growth - While the U.S. remains the most valuable ad market in the world - and it continues growing at a healthy clip - it pales in comparison to China' staggering expansion. According to Zenith Optimedia's latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, China's ad market has not been significantly affected by the country's stock market chaos and is expected to grow almost twice as fast as the global growth rate.
- Consumers annoyed by online ads - Data suggests that the boon in online advertising isn't well received by consumers. Of the 3,200 internet users surveyed in a recent study, 92 percent said that they'd consider using an ad blocker, and 62 percent of people said that they are annoyed by pre-roll ads. In 2017, finding ways to use more entertaining and less intrusive media will become a higher priority to avoid alienating viewers.
- Programmatic advertising continues to dominate digital display advertising - In 2014, just a little under 50% of display advertising was purchased either programmatically or through an API. It is estimated that this year, just 2 years later, approximately 67% of digital ad displays will be programmatically bought out. Programmatic TV will become a more viable option by automating ad buying for increased cost efficiency and by providing more granular targeting due to a data-driven approach. However, based on the threat of fake traffic eroding effectiveness for online ads, fraud could become a hurdle for TV advertising going digital.
Although the new year will bring more canvasses for online ads, there will be more opportunities for abuse. Helping eliminate unwanted, irrelevant, and fake traffic will be a high priority for 2017, in order to improve the user experience and increase ad effectiveness.