The digital landscape in India has witnessed remarkable growth over the years, with internet penetration rates soaring and the number of active users surging. According to Statista, internet usage has increased from a mere 4 percent in 2007 to over 48 percent in 2022. Furthermore, India has secured its position as the second-largest country in terms of active internet users, a testament to the nation’s digital prowess.
The internet has undeniably become a crucial mode of communication and gathering information. However, there remains a stark disparity or digital divide between urban and rural ( including tier 2-3) communities in terms of access to technology and economic opportunities. This has long delayed the potential of small-time app developers in rural areas, limiting their capacity to participate in the digital economy. Amidst these challenges, programmatic advertising acted as a ray of hope in narrowing this gap and fostering a more inclusive digital landscape.
Let’s first examine what programmatic advertising is. Programmatic advertising refers to a data-driven, automated approach to ad buying. Simply put, it is the buying and selling of ads in the digital space. By democratizing the digital space, programmatic advertising has enabled small-time app developers to scale their apps, acquire users and optimize their yields effectively without having to have direct contacts with big advertisers and big brands in Tier 1 cities. It has enabled app developers, especially in Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities to maximize their returns on investment (ROI) significantly.
It is also worth noting that ad networks and monetization platforms have played a huge role in empowering small app developers. Starting from huge brands to small app developers, programmatic advertising and ad networks have been pivotal in transforming their app growth journey. For instance, by partnering with ad networks and adtech platforms, small-time gaming platforms like Sigma App Labs, and AN Gaming have succeeded in increasing their ad revenue. They also gained access to high-quality and well-paying inventory and increased their eCPM (Effective Cost Per Mille) significantly.
Additionally, programmatic advertising can help stimulate local economies, and encourage small-scale entrepreneurship. By enabling local developers to generate income from their apps, programmatic advertising will help them reinvest their earnings in new ventures or spend it within their communities. By displaying region-specific ads, developers can connect with users on a more personal level, enhancing user experience and retention.
Finally, programmatic advertising also helps customize ads to the target audience. It can cater to multiple languages by enabling developers to pool resources and create culturally and contextually relevant ads. Since these ads are hyper-personalized, they can resonate with regional audiences and foster a stronger connection. This results in increased engagement rates and click-through rates (CTR). For instance, Technozer Apps and Gmonks Entertainment are platforms that received a significant boost to their user acquisition through programmatic advertising campaigns. While the app was not entirely obscure, it still required relevant users to help increase in-app transactions and spending. By leveraging the data on gamers who have made in-app transactions in the past, programmatic advertising has helped show personalized native ads on clickable units. This has helped gain high engagement, registrations, and in-app transactions.
The talent in India’s rural landscape is not less than in urban areas. Adtech companies, through the transformative power of programmatic advertising, are playing a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide in India. By empowering app developers and content creators to reach untapped audiences while stimulating economic growth in underserved regions, programmatic advertising has the potential to create a digitally inclusive India.