EXADS white label ad server has compiled a Data Report comparing statistics for 2022 across EXADS’ network of ad serving clients to take a deeper look into ad serving data insights. The aim of the report examines data and traffic generated by EXADS with the help of our ad serving technology from the 1st January - 31st December 2022.
EXADS’ Business Intelligence team looked for trends and insights across the +4,516 billion impressions (12.374 billion daily average) served globally via EXADS in 2022.
For the past few years the adoption of ad block technology has been increasing at a steady pace. In January 2022, Hootsuite’s Global Report showed that 37% of internet users aged between 16 and 64 worldwide were using ad blockers. In the US the figure was 34.2%, in China 43.4% and in most European countries the figure was also over 30%.
EXADS provides tools to help Publishers monetize their ad block traffic. This works by circumventing ad block software to show the following ad formats: Banners, Sticky Banners, Native, Instant Message and Popunders. On average, this increased the volume of impressions Publishers added to their inventory: the yearly average of extra impressions to monetize was +3.4%. Below is a month by month breakdown of the percentage of extra impressions served with EXADS adblock circumvention tools:
Again, taking Q1 as our base number, taking the average of Q2/3/4, the number of advertisers increased by 7.4%. Below you can see the increases per quarter:
Despite growth in Q2 and Q3, the number of active campaigns decreased by 5.5% when compared to Q1:
The more campaign variations advertisers add for their campaigns, the greater chance the campaign has for testing and optimization to discover what creatives perform the best. EXADS has a tool to help advertisers send different volumes of traffic to ad creatives depending on the algorithm chosen. The Variations Distribution Algorithm, for example, can send the most traffic to the best performing ad variation(s). In the graph below, again comparing with Q1 as the base number, Q2/3/4 saw a very large increase in the number of campaign variations.
Insight: Why did the campaign variations increase by such high percentages? In Q2 EXADS introduced Responsive Display Ads (RDA.) A Responsive Display Ad is a Banner ad that automatically adapts its size, format and appearance to fit any standard IAB Banner display ad placement. RDAs are used by Advertisers and Publishers on Google Ads and from Q2 EXADS clients were able to use them too.
RDAs are fully responsive and provide a great user experience. RDAs are created automatically from an Advertiser’s uploaded assets: image and texts (title, description and brand). EXADS ad serving platforms then combine and adjust them so that the final Banner creatives fit all of the following Publisher Banner display ad zone specifications: 160×600, 300×100, 300×250, 300×500, 728×90 and 900×250.
For Advertisers, RDAs mean that by uploading only one image, one text and a brand name to their Banner creative, several different banner sizes are created. This allows advertisers to test many different banner sized zones with one creative, saving time. By testing more banner sizes not only increases campaign reach for the advertiser but gives access to more campaign data.
For Publishers, RDA ad zones open up more of a website’s Banner inventory for Advertisers. Because RDA banners include the Advertiser offer’s brand name, the end user knows it is an ad bringing only qualified clicks, this creates a higher demand for high converting RDA ad zones increasing Publisher eCPMs.
RDAs contributed to this massive increase of variations for campaigns as Publishers implemented RDAs and Advertisers began to test RDAs. The consistent large increases show that testing was successful and continued through Q2 to Q4, with Q4 representing 45.2% of all RDA impressions of the three Quarters. In fact, RDAs accounted for 22.82% of all impressions served in 2022 by EXADS.
Looking at the click quality of the traffic sources per quarter we examined the ratio of clicks generated compared to impressions globally. The 2022 global average CTR was 0.307%. Below you can see the Quarterly breakdown of global CTRs:
EXADS white-label ad server comes with a host of free automation and optimization tools that your advertising clients can use. In today’s competitive market, tools that are integrated into an ad serving platform and are free to use, are of prime importance to your advertising clients. It can make the difference between them choosing to spend their budgets with your ad server or that of a competitor.
We examined the data for two of EXADS Advertiser tools: The Bidder and Conversion Tracking.
Let’s look at The Bidder first. The Bidder has two editable features: Automatic Bidding Optimization: intelligently adjusts the bids for ad zones according to how many conversions are received, and blocks those zones that don’t convert. This is done by the advertiser selecting a conversion goal from the Conversion Tracking drop-down.
The second feature, Rules to Block Ad Zones: allows advertisers to create additional optimization rules that determine what gets blocked automatically based on the rules set. The Rules can be set based on Impressions, Clicks, Spending, CTR (Click Thru Rate), Conversions, eCPA, or ROI (Return On Investment). These elements can be combined to define which dimensions the rules will block.
Below you can see per quarter, how many campaigns used The Bidder, the total number of Bidder Rules created and what the top 3 Dimensions chosen by Advertisers were.
Insight: The Bidder has become a hugely popular tool for Advertisers for EXADS clients, if we compare Q1 to Q4 there is a growth of +139.4% in the number of campaigns using the tool, which naturally led to an increase in the number of Rules created which increased by +64% in Q4 when compared to Q1.
There are many third-party real time tracking tools on the market that advertisers and affiliates use which need a paid for monthly subscription. These tools can be easily integrated into EXADS platform, however EXADS own Conversion Tracking tool is completely free for your advertiser clients to use. The Conversion Tracking tool allows Advertisers to:
The Conversion Tracking tool was launched in Q2 and here you can see the percentage share in Q2/3/4 for the number of campaigns using the tool and the percentage share of conversion goals tracked.
Insight: The tool has grown in popularity with Advertisers with excellent growth in the number of campaigns using EXADS Conversion Tracking in Q3 & Q4. Because the tool is free to use, this means advertiser clients save money from not paying for third-party subscriptions, allowing them to use this saving to reinvest in their ad campaigns on your ad serving platform.
The world is divided up into 3 tiers (see appendix) which evaluate the purchasing power of different countries or regions. We looked at impressions share per Tier of countries for each quarter:
EXADS serves ads across Mobile, Desktop, Tablet and CTV. We looked at device share per Tier of countries for 2022:
Insight: Not surprisingly, Mobile is king in all Tiers, but especially in Tier 3 countries where usually mobile devices are the population's main device to browse the internet. This is set to grow even further as more and more Tier 3 countries lift their populations out of poverty accompanied with increases in smartphone adoption. Tier 3 countries like India, which is set to become the world’s most populous country, give advertisers even more opportunities to target mobile devices.
Looking at the top 5 browsers per device, Chrome leads the way across all devices:
EXADS clients added more DSPs with a growth of 63.1% comparing Q1 to Q4 and more SSPs with a growth of 88.2% when comparing Q1 with Q4.
Of the total RTB Events processed in 2022, we have broken them down as a percentage per quarter and then compared Q1 to Q4 to see growth:
Insight: With a growth in programmatic partners, EXADS has seen extensive growth also across RTB events with some impressive increases. However Q3 did see a fall in both DSP impressions sold and DSP clicks sold. Q2 and Q3 were both strong months for these two DSP events, these decreases could be the stabilization of sales from the high of the previous 2 quarters.
Banners and Native ad formats are the biggest volumes in the online advertising market. Both can be considered display formats, but Native has more creative ways to generate clicks as they promise the end user will be taken to some interesting editorial information on the ads landing page.
Insight: Looking at all devices, Banners were pretty stable over each quarter at an average of 60.7%. Native averaged at 31.2% share of impressions in 2022. One interesting fact is that in Q4 Native was more popular than Banners on Tablet, where +4.9% more Native impressions were served than Banners.
Now let's look at Native ad serving data insights in more detail. Comparing Q1/2 versus Q3/4, Native is clearly a format that is growing in popularity on Mobile and Tablets, however on Desktop there is a -10.15% fall in Q3/4 compared to the first two quarters of the year.
We looked at how impressions were served for large formats the Popunder versus the Fullpage Interstial across all devices:
Insight: The large format Popunder has seen a decline in popularity between Q1/2 and Q3/4. Although a hugely popular format, Chrome has a negative view of Popunders and sometimes blocks them. Therefore we are seeing a natural progression to Publishers implementing the large format, rich media alternative, the Fullpage Interstitial. As you can see in the above graph, impressions for the Fullpage Interstial increased across all devices in the last two quarters in 2022.
We looked at how impressions were served for Push Notifications versus In-Page Push Notifications across all devices:
Insight: Push Notifications saw a decline on all devices when comparing the first half of the year with the second half. This format has been declining across the online advertising industry for a couple of years now. However, the In-Page Push Notification, which is really a display banner that is designed to look like a Push Notification and fades into the page being viewed by the end user has grown significantly in popularity across all devices.
EXADS provides three video formats Instream, Outstream and Slider. Overall Video formats saw a +23.65% across all devices when comparing Q1/2 with Q3/4. Let’s look at the video ad serving data insights in more detail by comparing Q1/2 with Q3/4:
Insight: According to the IAB, digital video advertising spending increased by +26% in 2022 to $49.2 billion compared to 2021. In the above graph video ad formats showed exceptional growth, in fact, very close to the IABs with growth of 23.65% on all devices. Instream is the stand out format of 2022 for EXADS, on Mobile growth was +56.96% in Q3/4, Tablet also showed significant growth at +38.24%. Because of the popularity of video consumption globally, especially on Mobile and Tablet devices, this demand enables ad networks to dedicate their ad serving to “video only” ad formats. Video ads bring a much higher engagement compared to display formats because of the creativity of the content that can be used in Video ads. EXADS can be customized to fit this need, check out our blog post Choosing a Video Ad Server Built for Performance.
In Q3 EXADS launched a specific feature for video ads called Video CTA which allows Publishers to integrate several different pre-set CTA texts that are overlaid within their video ad zones. Advertisers can then select these predetermined call to action texts to drive clicks for their offers. Additionally the feature allows advertisers to add a “friendly URL” under the CTA. The friendly URL is the name of their landing page e.g. Audi.com.
This feature showed a quick adoption by Publishers adding the feature to their video ad zones in Q3 & Q4:
Advertisers also used the feature in video campaigns which increased by +10% in Q4 compared to Q3:
Insight: Predetermined CTAs bring higher CTRs CTRs and the friendly URLs bring more qualified clicks as the end user can see what page they are being taken to. This extra CTR boost, makes the video ad zones more competitive, increasing Publisher eCPM values for video ad zones.
2022 was a strong year for EXADS during which we have continued to launch powerful features and to help our white label ad serving technology clients grow their businesses. Key takeaways from this 2022 Data Report are:
Ad block traffic: In EXADS blog post Google's Manifest V3 (MV3) Impact on Ad Blockers and Ad Tech, we reported that Google will be updating its Chrome extensions from Manifest V2, to Manifest V3, which essentially will see a new “declarativeNetRequest” API replacing the current “webRequest API”. Google is stating that Manifest V3 is “more secure, performant, and privacy-preserving than its predecessor”. MV3 however might render ad blockers useless, because extensions will not be able to modify the web requests anymore; instead it will ask Chrome to modify them on its behalf. The catch is that the set of rules that this process will be based on, will be reduced by 90%.
This could mean that starting June 2023, when Chrome Web Store will no longer accept Manifest 2 extensions and existing extensions will be hidden from view, Chrome users will have no choice but to see ads. With developers already experimenting workarounds, it will not be possible to confirm a viable solution until it is tested in a live environment, so they all have to wait for the new Manifest to go live.
RDA has proved to be popular: With RDAs being available on EXADS ad serving platforms, in 2022 they accounted for 22.82% of all impressions served. RDAs were initially released by Google in 2016 as an alternative to text ads, this was Google's first step to bridging text ads and visual banners. In 2018, Google made RDAs the default format for running ads on the Google Display Network. The fact that EXADS has also introduced RDAs in Q2 shows that by using EXADS platform, our ad serving technology is as competitive as Googles. Bringing RDA advantages to ad networks, publishers and advertisers using EXADS ad serving platforms.
EXADS Advertiser tools have helped campaign automation and optimization: The Bidder and Conversion Tracking tools have proved to be extremely popular with networks using EXADS, their advertiser clients have taken full advantage of these tools. The Bidder grew from 3.5% of campaigns using the tool, to 7.1% in Q2, 7.4% in Q3 and 8.8% in Q4. EXADS Conversion Tracking tool showed campaign usage growth of +63.3% comparing Q2 with Q4.
Programmatic continues to grow: eMarketer predicts that US programmatic digital display ad spending will grow from $123.22 billion in 2022 to $141.96 billion in 2023. EXADS has continued to increase DSP and SSP opportunities in 2022. The programmatic advertising market is one of the key drivers for the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, allowing for more advanced targeting, optimization and prediction capabilities. As the use of AI and ML continues to grow, we can expect to see more programmatic advertising platforms utilizing these technologies in the near future.
Mobile is still king and now so is Video!: Of all the ad formats in our ad format trends for 2022, it is Video that is showing the biggest incremental growth, especially the Instream video format on Mobile and Tablet devices. This is not surprising by the amount of long and short video content consumed on both these devices globally. That matched with the high CTR that advertisers can expect with Video formats has led to this growth. But we must not forget the CTA Feature that EXADS introduced this year, which has added to the potential of Video ad formats being one of the key drivers for the online ad industry on Mobile going forward into 2023.
Tier 1 Countries: The most desirable countries advertisers want to advertise in. The wealthiest with the highest levels of disposable income. Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
Tier 2 Countries: Countries with medium wealth and a lower level of disposable income. Andorra, Argentina, Bahamas, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Greece, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Korea (South),Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu.
Tier 3 Countries: Developing countries with low wealth and no disposable income. Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia.
Product Marketing Manager
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