Let’s take an updated look as COVID 19 continues to spread around the globe and civil unrest surges in the U.S. We have compiled a curated list of data from our partners and our own data to paint the current landscape in light of the global spread of the coronavirus and its effects on consumers and businesses.
U.S. ad spending may drop 13% this year, per a forecast by media agency GroupM, though analyses indicate that ad spending has potentially hit bottom, positioning the battered marketing sector for a rebound in Q3. According to an IAB survey, half (51%) of the big brands surveyed expect that total ad spend in 2020 will be less than it was in 2019.
Nonetheless, many brands expect to increase their spend across digital channels, including CTV/OTT (59%), non-CTV/OTT digital video (56%), social media (56%), podcasts (52%), digital audio (45%) and paid search (40%) in the second half of 2020. Certainly, the effects of the pullback are likely to be uneven among media platforms, of which, the app advertising market has rebounded quickly compared with other media platforms that forecast steep declines for the rest of the year.
CPMs almost recovered to Pre-pandemic level
The recovery in CPMs bodes well for apps. As a growing number of countries are easing out of lockdowns, prices across mobile ad networks are picking up. According to data from Consumer Acquisition, CPMs grew 100% to $10 in May, up from $5 at the start of lockdowns. The study also noted that some individual advertisers had seen CPMs rise between 284% to almost 300% from March to June. As you can see from the graph below, 2020 CPMs have normalized to June 2019.
Similarly, video ad CPMs for publishers on Facebook increased 28% last month from April, though they are still 20% lower than in February, according to data cited by Digiday. On Snapchat, revenue per thousand unique views (RPMs) this month recovered to $3 from a low of $1.50 in late March and early April, almost reaching a pre-pandemic level of $3 to $4. YouTube’s CPMs are now about $23 after falling from $25 in March to $20 in April, Digiday reported.
Global App Revenue Up 23% Year-Over-Year
On the app usage side, Preliminary Sensor Tower projections through June 30 show that consumers spent a combined total of $50.1 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020. This total is 23% more than the $40.6 billion estimated during the same period in 2019.
Previously, revenue had increased by 20% between the first half of 2018 and 2019. 2020’s significant growth reflects a trend of greater overall spending as a result of COVID-19’s impact on global app usage.
According to Sensor Tower’s data, app installs reached 71.5 billion during the first half of 2020, up 26 year-over-year. The App Store accounted for 18.3 billion representing a 23% growth year-over-year.
Google Play garnered 53.2 billion downloads which is a 27% jump from, same period in 2019. The number of downloads from Google’s platform was nearly three times higher than those on the App Store.
At AppMonet, doing everything we can to ensure our teams and partners are safe remains our top priority. We recognize the needs of our partners and customers to continually have timely and actionable data; this report is the third in a series exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the app and advertiser ecosystem.
Based on data trends, we’re just about back to business as usual for mobile app advertisers. we would expect CPMs to continue to rise through mid-July and then drop through August. We have also seen our partners and clients are shifting their focus to prepare for a cookie-constrained future as detailed in the previous blog posts after Google and Apple’s announcements on deprecating third-party cookies and less tracking in mobile environment respectively. Though the resurgence of COVID-19 after reopening remains a wild card in anyone’s guess.