Mobile in-app ad spend fell 14% in March as the COVID-19 pandemic dampened demand for ad inventory. The 16% decline for Android devices was bigger than the 13% drop for iOS devices between the first and last weeks of March, per an announcement by ad fraud management platform Pixalate.
Sports-related apps took a significant hit on iOS devices, with programmatic ad spending plunging 99% on ESPN Live Sports and 95% on the National Basketball Association's official app. The 83% drop in the broader sports category was bigger than losses for apps in utilities (-60%), books (-36%), weather (-28%) and business (-26%), per Pixalate.
However, advertisers boosted their iOS spending on shopping apps 178%, exceeding the gains for other categories such as food and drink (97%), photo and video (95%), news (20%) and entertainment (11%). On Android, the biggest gains were for parenting (122%), dating (103%), video players and editors (101%), business (62%) and auto and vehicles (21%), per Pixalate.
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