10 new players, 5 emerging platforms, and 2 industry giants: Singular ROI index 2021

By John Koetsier February 9, 2021

Where do mobile marketers get the highest return on investment for their advertising dollars? In more than a few surprising places, according to Singular’s 2021 ROI Index.

In fact, there are no fewer than 10 new ad networks in the 2021 ROI report in various regions, on both major mobile platforms, and for various verticals. That’s the most in my memory and a compelling indicator of significant change in the mobile advertising space.

Appropriate, I suppose, during COVID and in the age of iOS 14.

Perhaps even more significantly, we have five major emerging platforms that are challenging the perennial heavyweights of digital advertising, Google and Facebook.

Get the free Singular ROI Index here.

10 new players

Seven ad networks made the 2021 ROI Index in various regions and categories for the very first time. They include traditional ad networks, on-device out of the box OEM players, and influencer marketing networks.

In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Aura ironSource
  • Blind Ferret
  • BlueStacks
  • Crossinstall
  • Fluent
  • Jetfuel
  • Mistplay

In addition, three networks that have been on regional or vertical top lists before made our biggest and most important list this year: the global ROI leaders. You’ll recognize their names:

  • Digital Turbine
  • Fyber
  • LINE Ads

5 emerging platforms

Perhaps even more interesting are five major emerging platforms. These are companies whose names you know: they’re not new to the mobile advertising space. But what’s important about them is that like Facebook and Google, they drive their own supply and they allow advertisers to satisfy demand right within on-platform tools.

That’s powerful in an era of increased competition and decreased data sharing. This year we’re seeing that power manifest itself: these five platforms take no fewer than 86 positions on the various regional and vertical-focused top lists.

They include:

  • Apple Search Ads
  • BlueStacks
  • Snap
  • TikTok
  • Twitter

Apple’s probably not a surprise, but where last year Search Ads was on everyone’s list somewhere, this year the company ranks first or second on every category in which it competes. Bluestacks is more than 400 million passionate Android gamers with crazy good retention. Snap and Twitter rank on no fewer than 25 out of 27 possible top lists, pushing them right up under Google and Facebook. And TikTok is simply a growth beast.

There’s. So. Much. More.

There’s so much more to say, so … get the report already. We also saw impressive results from traditional mobile ad networks like ironSource, Liftoff, Tapjoy, Moloco, Aaki, Chartboost, and more.

Plus, Unity had a massive showing, ranking on no fewer than 22 out of 27 possible top lists. (Frankly, I’ve undersold Unity in this blog post.)

For all the insights, including on influencer marketing, social (and not just Facebook!), search (and emerging issues there), and no fewer than eight hidden gems and honorable mentions, download the full report. The hidden gems are especially interesting: good returns, in all cases, but not always the volume that we see with other players.

In other words: opportunity.

The full report is available, for free, here.

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