5 Reasons Why Marketers Should Focus on Apps in 2020

We recently sat down with Brian Mackey, Strategic Partner Manager at MoPub/Twitter, to better understand why apps are critical in 2020.

At Criteo, our partnerships are critical as we strive to provide the best results for our clients. MoPub has consistently been one of our top performing exchanges for both app install and app retargeting clients, with inventory that serves across numerous verticals like streaming, food delivery, gaming, finance, retail, and more.

We recently sat down and interviewed Brian Mackey, Strategic Partnerships at MoPub/Twitter, to better understand from his perspective why app should be a critical requirement for all marketers in 2020.

Why should marketers consider in-app a must for their media plans?

Brian: In this day and age the average adult spends more time engaging with their mobile device than watching TV, and 90% of that time spent on a mobile device is in-app. This year, we’ve also seen significant app usage increases as the world feels the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, people are spending more time in apps looking for information, seeking connection, looking for productivity and utility tools, and fulfilling a need to stay entertained and pass the time. Marketers need to consider allocating budgets to where their audience chooses to spend their time, and today, much of their time is spent in-app.

Types of In-App Ad Formats


Especially for mobile, these ads reward users for watching short videos or interacting with playable ads.


Full-screen static, video, or rich media (playable) ads that appear at natural transition points in the user flow of an app. The ad is self-contained within its own window, not within the app’s layout.


Ads that appear naturally within the app’s content. The ad experience follows the natural form and function of the app’s user experience in which it is placed.


Ads that remain on screen, within the app’s layout, while the user is interacting with an app. Banner ads typically include a combination of static/animated images and/or text.

Can you speak to the diversity of the app world and the in-app audience?

Brian: Mobile in-app has you covered if you’re a marketer looking for a highly engaged and diverse user base. MoPub, for example, reaches mobile apps on 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide and  attracts mobile users across demographics, representing everyone from young professionals (20% of MoPub’s mobile audience) to big box shoppers (33%) to QSR diners (64%).*

These premium apps span across major verticals such as audio, social networking, video, messaging and gaming, pairing well with Criteo’s diverse mix of advertisers who focus their acquisition and re-targeting efforts on gaming, music, ecommerce, and more.

*Internal MoPub data

We sometimes hear that gaming apps make up a significant percentage of in-app inventory, but they don’t offer a very valuable audience for marketers. True or false?

Brian: Absolutely false. Despite the traditional stereotype that gamers are just “young guys,” the audience for mobile app gaming is broadening significantly. Today, the mobile gaming gender split is 51% female, 49% male, and traditional notions about what constitutes a “gamer” are being upended. For instance, the average age of today’s mobile gamer is 36 years old, with nearly one-third of all mobile gamers being over the age of 45. In addition, women are more likely to spend in-game than men.

And when it comes to advertising, gaming apps offer particularly engaging formats such as rewarded video. Rewarded video ads are essentially the equivalent of native ads for gaming apps. Rather than being viewed as disruptive or annoying, mobile users have embraced rewarded ads (sometimes even requesting more of them in app store reviews) due to the clear value exchange that they provide.

Does in-app inventory perform? How does MoPub work with partners to ensure success for their campaigns?

Brian: MoPub maintains a strong symbiotic relationship between both publisher and advertising partners: we aim to maximize earnings for our publishers while helping advertising partners meet their specific KPIs. One of the key ways we’re able to do this is by maintaining close relationships and open lines of communication with demand partners like Criteo. MoPub and Criteo have had a long-standing partnership (check out our joint native ads case study, for example), and we always value Criteo’s feedback.

MoPub’s real-time exchange focuses exclusively on mobile app inventory. What sets MoPub apart from other SSPs?

Brian: Marketers require more control to effectively target the audience that’s just right for them. What sets MoPub apart from other supply platforms is that we make it easier for demand partners like Criteo to identify and buy against quality supply that suits their unique needs. We’ve recently expanded our partnership with AppAnnie to offer exclusive inventory curation that enables MoPub to power Inventory Packages based on an extended set of insights and signals in the bid stream.

These enable marketers to target inventory based on trends in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Further, MoPub’s SDK is integrated into 100% of our publisher’s apps. This provides transparency for optimization and insights, as we aim to maximize ROI for buyers and create positive experiences for the end user. Last but not least, MoPub is proud to be part of the Twitter family, which comes with many benefits including access to shared resources and a robust infrastructure.

For more information on how to optimize your ad strategy, download Criteo’s Ultimate Guide to App Retention:

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