What’s next for Mobile Programmatic in 2018?

As we look ahead to 2018, we also look back on a year that has been filled with change for the industry. Brands have never been more concerned about brand safety off the back of the YouTube scandal earlier in the year, mobile has further cemented itself as the first screen and there is an awful lot of uncertainty within the industry. What we can be certain on however is that 2018 will be a year that will continue to be dominated by mobile, and programmatic will play a huge part in that so at Widespace, we have put together our five key trends that we think will be big for mobile programmatic in 2018.

Quality, quality quality

After being one of the key talking points in 2017, we can expect quality to play an even more important part in 2018 as brands look to come down hard on those who aren’t offering quality and transparency by taking their spend elsewhere. Brand safety, viewability and ad fraud have all had time in the spotlight and that is set to continue through the year ahead. What we want to see in 2018 however is a greater emphasis on quality on mobile because that is where the eyeballs are.

Data and supply

The big buzzword for 2018 is GDPR, while we still don’t know exactly what it looks like we know that it is coming and everyone from brands to tech vendors are getting increasingly concerned. The way in which data quality and connection to 3rd party data will look-post GDPR is unclear with the only thing that’s for certain is that it will cause a great deal of disruption.


The year ahead for mobile programmatic video is likely to be a rocky one. With platforms like Facebook increasingly investing in intrusive ad formats such as mid and pre-roll ads we can expect to see an even greater need to put the consumer at the heart of the ad experience and focus more on short form outstream video that engages users to the point where they want to interact with the ad, rather than annoying them and encouraging them to download an ad blocker.

Mobile Measurement

It comes at as a huge surprise to us that many businesses still do not have a mobile specific strategy in place, especially when it comes down to measurement. During 2018 we will see even more budget go to mobile and as a result we can expect to see marketers overhaul the attribution model as a way to measure success, especially considering that most methods used on desktop are then implemented straight onto mobile but without considering the vast differences. By using attribution to better understand what role mobile played in the customer journey, we can then not just provide a better experience for customers but also use budgets more effectively.

AI & Machine Learning

There is no doubt that AI and machine learning will continue to be a focus well into 2018. It will be able to provide tech vendors with greater insight which will enable us to find new customers and engage existing customers in the most effective ways. It will also help us in the fight against fraud via transparency, for example through ads.txt which gives publishers a way to tell buyers who is authorised to sell their inventory.

By Filippo Gramigna, VP Global Sales, Widespace