Smaato: Global Mobile Advertising Fill Rates Continue to Decline, Worldwide Average at Just 18%

Mobile optimization and advertising provider Smaato has published its latest 2011 Mobile Metrics Report for Q2, and while it covers mobile advertising adoption and overall mobile ad network performance, it also covers the fact that mobile fill rates continue to decline and average just 18% on a worldwide basis.

Fill rates have long been a sticky issue regarding mobile advertising and its effectiveness, and the data from Smaato indicate a continued decline rather than the uptick many were hoping for.  Smaato analyzed over 80 billion managed ad requests in the second quarter of 2011 and over 60 connected ad networks delivering mobile ads across 230 countries to produce its report, which is why we usually put more confidence behind any data Smaato publishes.

Looking again at global fill rates, the top 40 ad networks in the world, ranked by ad impression volume, showed a significant performance spread – with fill rates ranging from 3% to 58% (averaging 18%), which represented an average decline of 2% from the previous quarter and a 3% decline year over year.  Here in the U.S., the top 20 ad networks’ fill rate declined from 27% down to just 19%, with only six out of the top 20 US networks performing above average at between 28-62%.  As many have feared since the beginning, mobile inventory is increasing at a faster pace than mobile advertising budgets, indicating possible commoditization.

“Although current economic conditions are a factor, the continued quarter on quarter decline in fill rates is an indicator that the market is not only becoming increasingly fragmented, but also under threat of commoditization as inventory increases at a faster rate than budgets.  While we will absolutely see more ad dollars coming to mobile and the average campaign size increase, this will be across a much wider range of inventory, which will in turn drive costs down,” said Harald Neidhardt, co-founder and CMO of Smaato.

Smaato’s latest report includes much more data, graphs and explanations, so be sure to head over and download the results for yourself.