Real-time bidding, or RTB, is a style of programmatic buying in which digital advertising opportunities are auctioned off in real-time. The auctions take place in milliseconds as advertisers bid on the right to show you an ad immediately after you open an app or click to a new web page.
On the desktop it’s a powerful technique to deliver the right ad to the right consumer at the right time and place. On mobile, it could be more powerful since consumers take their devices everywhere — to the mall, the car dealership, Starbucks, etc.
We also examine the potential obstacles to its widespread adoption, and look at how the holy grail of mobile advertising – controls and efficiencies – may be reached through its use.
Take a look at this infographic from our report:
By all accounts, RTB grew tremendously in 2012 across the mobile advertising ecosystem. Some of the most promising highlights include:
- Adfonic: Launched a mobile demand-side platform with RTB in October 2012, says it saw a quarterly increase of 22 billion RTB ad requests in the third quarter of last year — a full three-quarters of its growth— thanks to Android and iOS RTB inventory.
- Nexage: A mobile ad exchange, it reported that RTB more than doubled its share of revenue on the platform between May and October of last year. RTB’s revenue share grew 37% every month.
- MoPub: A mobile ad exchange, it reported that the number of winning RTB auctions increased 162% over the third quarter of 2012.
It’s not just that more real-time auctions are happening. There are also more bids being placed on each RTB-mediated ad request, a metric sometimes referred to as “bid depth.”
- Nexage, whose mobile RTB exchange is 18 months old, saw the number of bids per auction grow 96% between the second and third quarter of last year.
- MoPub reported bid depth of 1.6 bids per auction in June 2012, up from 0.4 bids per auction in January.
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