The RTB Marketplace

The industry’s Q1 2013 numbers don’t tell the whole story, because after tanking in January, RTB in the U.S. has put together back-to-back months of recovery. In March, the U.S. was on par with global spend and outpaced the global average in increased impressions. While eCPM was down, March was yet another promising month for RTB.

In the U.S., there was a 29% increase in spend in March compared to February. There was also a whopping 34% increase in impressions, while eCPM dropped 4%. Globally, spend was up 30%. Impressions (27%) and eCPM (2%) were also up.

The huge increases in spend and impressions show that the market is healthy despite the year’s shaky start. March’s 29% boost in spend tied November 2012 as the highest month-over-month spend increase the U.S. has had since the app started recording data back in early 2012.

In the U.S., the top 5 advertising categories were Technology & Computing, Personal Finance, Automotive, Shopping, and Travel, the same categories – in the same order, no less – as February. Business cracked the top 5 in terms of impressions (5th) while only being the 8th highest spender. Hobbies & Interests was also a winner in terms of spend versus impressions; the category was the 13th highest spender but generated the 9th most impressions. Travel lost the spend versus impressions battle, dishing out the 5th most money but only raking in the 7th most impressions.

While the Real Estate category had the largest decrease in spend in February (37%), it recovered well in March, going up 104%, the highest of any category tracked by Rubicon. Across the board, only two categories had a decrease in spend during March, News (13%) and Home & Garden (9%).

Despite the higher spend and impression numbers, most categories struggled with eCPM in March. Society (20%) and Education (18%) were the leaders in eCPM increase. 13 out of the 21 categories had either a decrease or no change in their eCPM compared to February.

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