Tips and Trends for Holiday Season App Monetization

October 28, 2016

Every year retailers seem to steal more and more of the holiday spotlight. Grabbing shoppers’ attention with flashy — and pricey — advertisements is a make or break for their bottom lines. But this special time of year isn’t just a time for retailers to stand out. It’s also an important season for mobile app developers like you to make an impression. You sit on the other side of the value exchange, allowing advertisers to get in front of their target audience, and your Q4 goals are just as lofty. A strong quarter requires a smart programmatic strategy and excellent execution, but to get there, you need to truly understand holiday traffic patterns and trends.

We’ve done the legwork for you. We’ve analyzed data from our ONE by AOL: Mobile Marketplace to identify important programmatic trends and how you can best capitalize on them this holiday season. So, unwrap our trends and tips to make your Q4 merry and bright:

The Heaviest Spend Days Might Surprise You
We saw the expected uptick in spend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2015, but we also discovered that spend rose steadily beginning Thanksgiving week, peaking on December 23. And, New Year’s Eve sees a spend level similar to the week before Black Friday. It’s important to remember that although holiday shopping drives growth in Q4, advertisers need to continue reaching shoppers long after the wrapping paper has been recycled.

  • Our TL;DR Tip: Free up inventory programmatically during peak times and keep volume high throughout December. It may be tempting to throttle down your programmatic inventory the week of Christmas, but you could be missing out on real revenue opportunities.

Not All Ad Formats Are Created Equal
In 2015, the average video eCPM on the ONE by AOL: Mobile Marketplace was four times higher than banner eCPM on our peak spend day. Advertisers are willing to pay more to reach the right user on the right platform, and video is the most engaging way to do it.

  • Our TL;DR Tip: Consider enabling video ads as those fetch a premium over more traditional units.

Expect a Good Year
This year, eMarketer predicts that the percent of all retail sales done on mobile devices will increase to 29%. If advertisers are watching this trend, they’ll want to strike while the iron is hot, and that’s great for app developers. Look forward to a nice bump in campaign spend. Last year, holiday eCPMs grew 78% on the ONE by AOL: Mobile Marketplace (2014-2015 Q4).

  • Our TL;DR Tip: Keep in touch! Our strategic, long-tenured team of mobile experts is here to help.

Stay tuned for more tips coming your way this holiday season, and get more information about how we help app developers improve monetization.