Last month, Pixalate published the first edition of the top “trending” mobile apps in the United States for display and video advertising across iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, based on programmatic ad volume.
These lists highlight the top apps in terms of raw programmatic ad volume; they don’t necessarily represent the “best” apps in terms of brand safety, user engagement, or even reach.
So why share the lists? These Share of Voice rankings drive home the fundamental fact that the mobile app world is still opaque, and that perception can be quite different from reality when it comes to the apps you think are most popular versus those that receive the most (programmatic) advertising. Knowing where the majority of programmatic ads are delivered across apps and devices is one step in clarifying the app advertising ecosystem and smarter inventory selection.
Below you’ll find the individual lists of the top 10 trending apps for both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. You can download the full list of top 30 apps here:
Trending iOS smartphones apps: Display advertising, April 2018
According to Pixalate’s data, iFunny accounted for the largest percentage of programmatic display advertising among iOS smartphones in April 2018. It was the No. 2 app in terms of advertising Share of Voice (SOV) in March.
Trending iOS tablet apps: Display advertising, April 2018
According to Pixalate’s data, two jigsaw puzzle apps were the top trending apps for display advertising on iOS tablets last month.
Trending Android smartphone apps: Display advertising, April 2018
According to Pixalate’s data, TextNow was the top trending apps for display advertising on Android smartphones last month. It was the top trending app in this category last month as well, although it’s share of voice in April (nearly 6%) was higher than its SOV in March (4.8%).
Trending Android tablet apps: Display advertising, April 2018
According to Pixalate’s data, Wheel of Fortune - Free Play was the top trending apps for display advertising on Android tablets in April 2018.
Do brands really know where their mobile app ad dollars are going?
While many of the apps found on these top 10 lists are not surprising, there are several that are not well known. Of course, an app doesn’t need to be widely known to be worth advertising on, but when apps are among the top apps in terms of advertising volume — but perhaps not a household name — it’s worth investigating.
Perhaps the apps are overloading their pages with ads, which creates a bad user experience. (Some of the above apps are guilty of this.) Perhaps the apps generate a lot of available inventory but don’t delivery high viewability rates (some of the above apps are guilty of this, too).
Ultimately, brands need to look at where the majority of their mobile app advertisements are going and determine whether or not those are the apps they really want to be seen on. Are the apps brand safe for your goals? Do you know what the user experience is like on the apps you are advertising on the most?
The above apps show the top apps in terms of raw programmatic display ad volume, so we know advertisers are active in these applications. But for several of these apps — and to be clear, not all — the end user experience is lacking, which suggests that advertisers still need to take a closer look at where their mobile app ad spend is truly going.
Methodology and Disclaimer
Pixalate examined mobile in-app display advertisements sold via programmatic channels throughout April 2018 for this study. The data is based on activity within apps that engage in programmatic advertising in the open marketplace. Invalid Traffic (IVT) — including General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) — were removed prior to ranking the apps. Each app's "Share of Voice" is determined based on programmatic display ad volume as measured by Pixalate. The data contained herein is based solely on Pixalate's Share of Voice analysis of programmatic advertising impressions in April 2018, and any reference to "top" or "trending" apps refers solely to an app's Share of Voice of programmatic advertising impressions.
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