On September 2nd, App Growth Summit held their Mastermind Roundtables event in San Francisco. At this outdoor and fully vaccinated event, mobile experts discussed the future of performance marketing and user acquisition within the mobile industry. YouAppi's Matthew Kloss, Director of Strategic Accounts, and Raymond Morales, Senior Director of Programmatic Sales, attended the event where they chatted with industry experts about how to jump-start Q3 app growth with Retargeting and User Acquisition. 

The intimate roundtable discussion included riveting dialogue on the future of the mobile industry as we approach Q4. A roster of expert panelists hit on topics such as M&A, internal role changes, ad creatives, and CTV, with a focus on which trends will continue into Q4 and beyond. We’ve summarized the biggest talking points from the roundtable below.

Consolidation in the Market

The mobile advertising sector is adaptable and doesn't stay static for long. In the current climate, there are many moving parts that will create ripple effects throughout the industry. Mobile app spending is accelerating and strategic decisions are being made to keep the valuations of mobile advertising companies at an all-time high. 

Revenue growth continues to drive value in the market, leading tech companies to invest in mergers and acquisitions to increase future revenue potential. This creates value for vendors by transforming them into one-stop-shops. As such, they can provide more comprehensive and holistic solutions for their users rather than specializing in only one product. The expansion of vendors’ capabilities will likely have a great impact on the competitive spectrum of the mobile advertising sector. 

A Wave of M&As 

The latest wave of mergers and acquisitions is certainly driving competition in the market. In the mobile ad industry alone, the number of M&A deals has increased more than 500% year over year (Martech Alliance). Some examples of recent M&As include Liftoff and Vungle, AppLovin and Adjust, and Verve Group and Smaato. 

Advertisers, publishers, and agencies alike are looking to leverage the platforms of global players to expand their specialized work. This drives competition as vendors boost their capabilities to become stronger than their competitors. Given the robust health of M&A in 2021 so far, keep a close eye on movers and shakers as we head into Q4. 

Broaden Your Specialization

While big moves such as M&As can be seen externally, shifts are also occurring within organizations that may continue through Q3 and into Q4. A current trend we are seeing is that advertising organizations are dissolving their retargeting managers and teams. As these retargeting managers transition into UA managers per title and per OS, their retargeting responsibilities are rolled underneath. What does this really mean? This is a signal that managers and teams are expanding their specializations to appeal to both their UA and Retargeting solutions.

These mergers mimic the consolidation that we see in the market from an external perspective. It can also create a more efficient internal structure within some advertising organizations. As key players in the mobile industry continue to consolidate, we will likely see the trend of broadened specialization from both an individual role and team perspective grow as we hit Q4. 

Drive High Quality Ads with Creatives

Global omnichannel platform players are looking for more ways to drive efficiency and optimize performance. A key trend emerging in optimizing performance within campaigns, regardless of channel, is the importance of ad creatives. 

Creatives are critical to attracting users through thoughtful and engaging high-quality ads. Ads are becoming shorter, which means the window for attracting a customer through ads is smaller. Personalization, empowered by data, can increase user engagement and power a campaign. While some vendors in the mobile industry are struggling to invest in creative resources, others are increasing theirs through consolidation in the market. This is shifting the competitive spectrum and giving an edge to those who invest in their ad creatives. 

So, What’s Next?

As tech industries continue advancing, the next big thing in advertisers’ minds is Connected TV (CTV). When it comes to ad spend, CTV is one of the most rapidly growing markets and shows no signs of slowing down. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 bolstered the ongoing streaming boom. It made digital content a main source of information and entertainment for consumers confined to their homes. 

CTV ad spend in the US has grown to $13.41 billion in 2021 compared to $9.03 billion in 2020. At this current rate of growth, CTV ad spend is expected to reach $27.47 billion by 2025 (Statista). CTV allows vendors to serve personalized ads to target audiences while they stream video content on their TVs. These ads are displayed on OTT streaming services on top of a user's CTV device. OTT streaming services could include Hulu, Disney+ and Netflix, while a CTV device could be a Roku or Smart TV. Users are moving more and more toward consuming content in front of their screens. Therefore, video ad creatives will become even more critical in engaging users through CTV advertising.


During the AGS SF 2021 Mastermind Roundtables, mobile experts discussed topics such as market consolidation, M&A, internal role changes, ad creatives, and CTV. We summarize the major talking points here. 

  • The market is consolidating as vendors seek to provide the most holistic approach they can. This is creating a movement away from specialization and an increase in one-stop-shops. 
  • An ongoing wave of mergers & acquisitions has caused an uptick of competition in the mobile advertising sector, as advertising players look to bolster their capabilities against their competitors. 
  • Individual managers and teams are expanding their specializations to appeal to both their Retargeting and User Acquisition solutions; thus, mimicking the consolidation occurring in the market externally. 
  • Ad creatives still remain one of the most important aspects of optimizing performance within campaigns, regardless of channel. Some advertisers still struggle to find the creative resources to bolster their campaigns. Meanwhile, others are taking advantage of targeted and personalized ad creatives to increase user engagement. 
  • The next big thing in advertisers’ minds? Connected TV. CTV is one of the most rapidly growing markets of 2021. This will be one to watch as we approach Q4.