It’s no secret that 2020 did not turn out the way many had hoped before the start of the year. In addition to the usual challenges that include a fluctuating economy, events like the global health crisis and civil unrest have made the start of the new decade truly unpredictable.
However, the smoke is starting to clear slowly but surely, which has given us the ability to determine what new trends are going to shape 2021 and beyond.
At PropellerAds, we strive to stay ahead of the latest movements in order to make adjustments that benefit all of our stakeholders, including our publishers of course.
Let’s take a look at the 5 most significant trends that will shape this upcoming year, according to our internal experts.
Hottest Publisher Trends of 2021
To determine the hottest trends of 2021, we conducted a network-wide survey and received answers from some of the top team leaders within PropellerAds, including experts in the publisher partnerships and traffic acquisition teams.
Without further ado, let’s review the most important tendencies for publishers in 2021.
#1 Popunders Dominating While IPP Makes a Push
According to Anton Averchenkov, one of our top team leaders in the traffic acquisition department, “popunders are going to dominate 2021. But, in-page push (IPP) notifications have already started growing in terms of popularity.”
“IPP has serious potential and it has become a popular format in the industry already, so expect an in-page push to experience a significant boost,” says Averchenkov.
In addition, our head of publisher partnerships, Svetlana Prishchak, also believes that IPP will experience significant growth, but not at the expense of popunder traffic. “IPP will definitely grow, but popunder won’t give up that easily. Pops will definitely remain the leader at least for this year.”
“Another interesting trend is the arrival of smart code snippets, like MultiTag, which allow you to employ different ad formats using one single tag. Publishers love automation and many are looking at it as the future of monetization. So, instead of looking at it as different ad formats, expect many publishers to evaluate the entire algorithm of a network in order to identify the best monetization strategy. And, I’m sure we will see even more automation in the coming years,” says Prishchak.
Maria Panova, a team leader in our publisher partnerships department, also highlights the versatility of popunder as the reason it will remain a dominant format in 2021.
“Popunder is the king of monetization, so we recommend it to all of our publishers regardless of location or niche,” says Panova. “It gives high profits every year and it’s the most customizable in terms of frequency, adblock, delay, combination with other formats, and more, so working with it is a no-brainer.”
#2 Legal Streaming Sites Gain Traction
“In the last few years, paid streaming sites like Netflix have been gaining traction with consumers and this trend shows no signs of slowing down,” says Averchenkov.
“It works really well for users too. All they need to do is pay for their subscription and they don’t have to worry about losing access, all the while publishers generate a profit from effective ad monetization and the monthly fee.”
#3 Corona-Boost for Publisher Content
According to Svetlana Prishchak from publisher partnerships, “there is no denying that the coronavirus has been a major tragedy, but there has been a silver lining for publishers. Extensive lockdowns and stay at home orders have boosted traffic for most publishers, which translated to a boost in earnings.”
In simple terms, traffic has increased because:
- Consumers are locked at home consuming digital content
- Online shopping has boosted the sales from the eCommerce industry, which results in higher eCPM rates across the affiliate space
“I would predict that the growth in traffic will prove to be a constant even after next year. Sure, this depends on two main factors, which are advertiser’s campaigns and external elements like geopolitical events and Google algorithm updates. Assuming there are no major shake-ups in the next year, publishers should enjoy that nice improvement in performance for a while,” says Prishchak.
“This, combined with the fact that the pandemic has given birth to a brand new set of competitive verticals, can set up publishers for serious success in 2021.”
#4 No Major Algorithm Changes for Chrome
Averchenkov notes that “Google and other search engines develop major updates every year and these tend to scare publishers. After updates are announced, publishers tend to get stressed out because they worry about the effects the algorithm change will have.”
“But, once released, publishers always realize it wasn’t a big deal. I expect the same thing to happen in 2021. And, for publishers thinking that there is always a first for everything, they should remember that PropellerAds usually stays on top of these and we tend to inform our members whenever a major change is coming up.”
As for formats, Prishchak believes that all types of ads will survive in 2021. “I don’t think that Google’s updates will kill off any ad formats this year as the search engine is actually trying to find ways to improve user experience as well as the content monetization process.”
“No one likes to access a site that has spammy ads that cover the entire screen, so Google will obviously push back against this. The good news is that publishers working with PropellerAds can always expect clean, high-quality creatives that improve user experience. Plus, if there are any major changes, we’ll be the first ones to let publishers know.”
5. Growing Sports and Social Traffic
Sporting events were banned in 2020 due to the global health crisis until recently that is. “If we look at the last months of 2020, we’ll see that sports streaming is growing in popularity. We expect this trend to carry over to the first half of 2021 at least, if not for longer,” says Prishchak.
Maria Panova from publisher partnerships also highlights the struggle that the sports industry has gone through in 2020. “The pandemic resulted in canceled events, postponed Olympics, and the cancellation of online broadcasts in some areas, which means that publishers lost a lot of money,” says Panova. “But, summer brought the renaissance of football, the NBA bubble, and other events that rekindled the industry.”
It’s also worth noting that the sites that made the most revenue during this stint were iGaming platforms, followed by utility applications and finance pages, all of which are using pop-unders and IPP notifications.
“In the sports world, the best leagues are currently the NBA, UFC, and football, and these will likely remain the leaders in 2021 as well.”
Lastly, it’s important to note that the pandemic has paved the way for the acquisition of a new type of social media traffic. For instance, publishers have found success in developing coronavirus counters and similar platforms, then sharing them on social media to attract millions of users to their new platform.
These one-page sites will continue to dominate the internet and social media as a whole, so they have the ability to generate a lot of revenue for savvy publishers.
Want to find out more about the latest trends or how to join our network? Contact PropellerAds and we’ll be glad to help.