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Horizon Media, Largest US Indie Agency Hits Reset Button on Mobile Programmatic Buying

July 28, 2014 in News

mobile programmatic buying

Horizon is rolling out a programmatic division, dubbed HX, to handle its machine-driven ad buys for clients. The initiative, supported through relationships with four demand-side platforms (DSPs), expands on a two-year foray into mobile programmatic buying that initially supported Adap.tv. However that effort failed to produce the desired scale, as clients resisted trafficking ads on unknown sites.

“We were contending with the same challenges that certain pockets of the marketplace have today. There’s still network buying and perhaps limited visibility. You don’t necessarily understand where impressions are,” said Donnie Williams, chief digital officer. “It felt like we were another network, talking about the value all these tools of mobile programmatic buying brought to properties that in and of themselves were not valuable. It was a tough hole to climb out of.”

But climb Horizon did. Partly because of the challenges Williams describes, transparency is the rule at HX. The unit charges a flat markup on working media and discloses that margin to clients.

“There is no arbitrage or resold media,” according to Adam Heimlich, SVP Programmatic at HX.

HX has formal agreements with Turn, The Trade Desk, Adap.tv for video inventory and Adelphic for mobile and cross-device targeting. Heimlich and Williams say the agency will integrate additional technologies as required by clients.

According to Adam Heimlich, Horizon SVP of Programmatic, “roughly 75% of our [100] clients leverage programmatic solutions today through Horizon Media. We are in the process of migrating those clients to HX as a way to further deliver value. That’s on approval, absolutely not mandatory. At present about half of those clients are in transition. We feel we’re going to close that gap over time as folks start to see the positive results of working alongside HX.”

 To read the article in its entirety, visit AdExchanger.

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InMobi Launches the World’s Largest Mobile-First Programmatic Advertising Exchange Powered by Rubicon Project

May 29, 2014 in News

InMobi Exchange Also Brings the Largest Mobile-First Programmatic Marketplace to Buyers and Sellers Globally

mobile-first programmatic

SINGAPORE, LOS ANGELES and LONDON, May 29, 2014 – InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network, and Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI), a leading technology company automating the buying and selling of advertising, today unveiled InMobi Exchange, a mobile programmatic buying and selling platform and the world’s first exchange to support buying mobile native ads at unprecedented global scale. The exclusive agreement between the two companies creates the largest mobile-first programmatic exchange that:

– Enables hundreds of buying platforms, representing tens of thousands of advertisers,
– To reach 759 million active monthly unique users globally,
– Across 30,000 mobile apps.

Native mobile ads deliver five-times higher yield for publishers and application developers and six-times greater conversions for buyers over traditional banner ads. With the creation of the InMobi Exchange, InMobi – powered by Rubicon Project’s Advertising Automation Cloud – is ushering in programmatic trading of customized, native ad units, which mirror the organic look and feel of a given mobile app to provide greater value to advertisers, publishers and application developers. InMobi is working with Rubicon Project and the IAB OpenRTB Working Group in standardizing native programmatic buying.

“Demand for native ads is increasing, as their high performance makes them very attractive to advertisers. However, the market is currently constrained by the lack of a robust platform that allows native ad slots to be bought, and sold, transparently. This lack of scale is one of the primary reasons native ads are not as popular as they could be. InMobi Exchange brings to-market the scale and quality needed for buying and selling of native ads to accelerate globally,” said Jide Sobo, Head of Mobile, MEC UK.

The InMobi Exchange will also provide buyers seamless access to extensive mobile-first InMobi Audience Personas allowing advertisers to achieve double the engagement. Built from data of over one trillion proprietary mobile consumer activities, InMobi is continuously expanding its audience intelligence and learning.

For publishers and application developers, InMobi Exchange will offer the best of both sell-side applications and real-time bidding capabilities for native and traditional mobile ad formats.

“There is a fundamental shift occurring in digital advertising to custom advertising experiences that match the form and function of the mobile environment and are appropriate to the overall user experience,” said Michael Collins, CEO, Adelphic. “The promise that InMobi Exchange will provide the power of these custom ad experiences at scale with the efficiency and transparency of programmatic buying is a great step forward for the mobile advertising ecosystem.”

“We are committed to improving the mobile user experience, whether through the aesthetic of native ads or relevant advertising, based on our deep understanding of mobile consumer behavior. In selecting Rubicon Project’s Advertising Automation Cloud to power our InMobi Exchange, we are taking the next natural step by bringing these custom native experiences to programmatic buyers and sellers at scale. We believe that this represents the next era of digital media buying globally,” said Naveen Tewari, CEO, InMobi.

“Rubicon Project has developed the scale and speed required to power the largest independent marketplace that automates the buying and selling of advertising,” said Frank Addante, CEO, Founder and Chief Product Architect, Rubicon Project. “Our infrastructure and massive installed base of buyers, combined with InMobi’s mobile expertise and scale, creates one of the largest automated global exchanges poised to accelerate mobile advertising adoption.”

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Google’s Mobile Tracking: The Advertising “Holy Grail?”

November 7, 2013 in News

Mobile Targeting

News that Google is continuously tracking people’s whereabouts with mobile tracking has agency executives salivating. While its beta tracking program is currently limited to connecting Google mobile search to store visits, it represents a meaningful step toward Google achieving “the holy grail of advertising,” according to one exec who has been briefed by Google.

That holy grail involves connecting user location data to all of the other information users provide to Google through its suite of desktop and mobile products. Agency executives see this as an opportunity to track consumers along every point of the purchase funnel: from initial intent (a Google search for “shoes” on a desktop, for instance) to final purchase (using smartphone location data to track that person’s subsequent visit to a shoe store).

Ray Velez, cto at digital agency Razorfish, said this was potentially transformative for “attribution analysis” — by tracking people’s Internet (and real world) activity across devices and services, Google will be able to prove that an ad seen on one of its many channels led to a purchase elsewhere. The better Google can show its ads are effective, the more alluring the company is to advertisers.

Google, which declined a request for comment, mentioned measuring “cross-device conversions” in an Oct. 1 blog post.

Sean McDonald, vp and group director of SEO at DigitasLBi, illustrated the significance of the program with the following scenario: A consumer searches Google for “sunglasses” on his desktop and clicks on a paid search ad for a sunglasses chain (thus exhibiting an intent to buy). That same person then searches that chain on his Google Maps mobile app, again signaling purchase intent, and is able to see where the closest location is. When inside the store, he opens up his Gmail app — which has location sharing on, telling Google that he visited that offline shop.

Aside from the obvious privacy concerns, many stars have to align for that chain of events to transpire. The user has to be willing to click on a Google ad, has to want to take the trouble of finding a store, has to opt-in to location services on his Gmail app and then open his Gmail while in the shop.

But McDonald — who was not briefed on the offline program currently being beta-tested — added that Google’s tracking ability would be even more significant if Google Wallet were ever to reach a critical mass. And if Google were able to tie users’ itemized store purchases back to which pre-roll ads they saw while watching YouTube, then it’d have an incredibly compelling proposition to marketers.

“If there was some way to have a universal Google analytics tag and you’re able to create that holistic view via a mobile app and desktop experience, you’ll be able to drive more relevant advertising,” Razorfish’s Velez said.

Google is attempting to create this holistic web experience for users (and advertisers) by trying to get people to sign in to its various desktop services. Google’s Chrome web browser and its Google Maps desktop site work better if a user is signed in with his or her Gmail account, for instance. In September, Google made signing up for a Google+ account a prerequisite to leaving comments on YouTube.

For its mobile apps, Google is not only asking users to sign in with their Gmail accounts, it’s asking them to constantly share their location with Google. The intended effect of this dual-pronged strategy is to envelope web users in a cohesive Google ecosystem, and, in turn, increase the value of its ad products.

“Once you start tracking people on mobile, we can have one plan for all the channels we use,” Michael Collins, CEO of mobile ad targeting company Adelphic, said. “If I’m able to build up a behavioral database based on where that user has been, it makes the media more valuable.”

To read the article in its entirety, visit Digiday.

The post Google’s Mobile Tracking: The Advertising “Holy Grail?” appeared first on Adelphic.

Mobile Video Advertising Now Available for Programmatic Buying Via Adelphic

October 23, 2013 in News

Mobile Video Advertising

Targeted mobile advertising company Adelphic on Wednesday announced the addition of mobile video advertising inventory to its mobile DSP. This means that agencies and brands using Adelphic can now buy mobile video advertising via mobile programmatic buying.

Michael Collins, Adelphic’s CEO, stated that the company’s brand and agency partners have been increasing spend on mobile video. He believes opening it up for programmatic trading will increase the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the ad format.

Adelphic’s inventory supply partners at launch include BrightRoll, LiveRail, Vdopia and MoPub. Adelphic claims that over one billion mobile video ad impressions will be available each month for mobile RTB.

To read this article in its entirety, visit MediaPost.

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Adelphic Mobile Founders Aim At Mobile Ads Segmentation With New Platform

March 14, 2012 in News

mobile ads

Adelphic announced the launch of its mobile ads company and its “Predictive Data Platform” which it says features AudienceCube, “a new targeting technology that leverages data predictive of campaign performance to find and engage mobile audiences.”

Co-Founders Changfeng Weng and Jennifer Lum, whose mobile ad experience includes Apple iAd, Quattro Wireless, Nokia, Enpocket and m-Qube, discussed the company and its offering with AdExchanger.com.

AdExchanger.com: What’s in a name… “Adelphic Mobile”?

JENNIFER LUM: It comes from the Oracle of Delphi, who is the all-seeing oracle. We feel like it encapsulates and represents the spirit of technology in our company because we are focused around leveraging and using data intelligently to see and understand everything that is involved in an ad transaction.

AdExchanger.com: Can you talk a bit about how the idea for the company came about?

CHANGFENG WANG: My background has been a mixture of dealing with high performance data mining and data processing. For example, my early work at Engage provided an understanding of how to make an ad effective. Looking at the difference between online advertising and mobile advertising, it became clear to me what was missing in the pie and what would become important. So we began working on this idea and how to get this for a long time.

JENNIFER LUM: The one other thing is that through Changfeng’s later work at both Enpocket (acquired by Nokia) and Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple), he was able to implement algorithms and other pieces of technology that substantially improved the performance of both of those networks. Changfeng and I came to know each other through working at Quattro together where I was his main internal customer. We developed a great relationship there.

As I was trying to figure out my next move after transitioning out of Apple iAd, Changfeng approached me about what he’d been working on and invited me to partner with him and I jumped at the chance.

AdExchanger.com: What would you say the problem is that Adelphic Mobile is going to solve or is solving?

CHANGFENG WANG: The problem that we’re solving is the data – the data intelligence and that’s what we see missing in the ecosystem. If you look at how the Internet and mobile advertising work, they work similarly. One piece is ad serving and the other is to get the data to work. The last wave [of innovation] was about trafficking, serving and little intelligence.

Why is it necessary with your offering that you serve both the buy and the sell side? Doesn’t that present some sort of potential conflict of interest?

CHANGFENG WANG: What makes ads work is if you know the media and the ads? With media, it’s about matching the buyers and sellers together. We don’t see a zero sum game.

JENNIFER LUM: We’re actually helping to create incremental value in mobile media because we are bringing more sophisticated and relevant data services to the various partners that we work with. So for media owners, we’re helping to make their media more valuable and making their media perform in a stronger manner. On the buy side, we’re working with marketers and agencies to help their campaigns reach broader audiences in a targeted manner and perform at a higher rate.

CHANGFENG WENG: We don’t view it as a conflict of interest if you look at [the way we do] optimization. From a buyer’s perspective, It’s finding the the audience that they want. The next thing is about pricing. The advertising market is a fair market value and we’re not about overcharging.

AdExchanger.com: Who is the target customer?

JENNIFER LUM: The objective is to enable a greater percentage of direct buy and sell ad transactions between two parties. So on the media owner’s side, it’s whoever has media for sale to make their media more valuable. And then on the buy side, it’s helping to find an audience that wants it in a targeted manner to achieve great results.

AdExchanger.com: Could this solution also work for PC based display advertising? Take me through a use case.

CHANGFENG WENG: In theory, yes, but we are focusing on mobile.

A typical use case is this: a big agency or advertiser that has one million dollars to spend in X amount of time for a campaign and they are looking for audiences. They will come to our media platform and browse through the inventory and define their campaign. From our portal, they will find the type of audience that they want, and then they can launch their advertising from there. The core of what we provide is what we call the “AudienceCube” – a next generation targeting technology, which we developed expressly for this mobile space. And it goes beyond what is traditionally behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, etc. We’re able to systematically extract what is predictive of a campaign’s performance. And on top of that, we can provide taxonomies for the buyers to define their own target segment dynamically.

AdExchanger.com: Do you use cookies to define your segments?

CHANGFENG WENG: That’s part of the user identification problem. User identification in mobile is pretty tricky, and cookies would be a part of the picture but we don’t rely on cookies.

AdExchanger.com: Is your solution more about the mobile web or mobile app advertising?

JENNIFER LUM: We’re not favoring one media type over another. We want to ensure that we can provide media companies, publishers and marketers with a technology that can equally cover both mobile web and app. Right now, what we’ve seen is somewhat of a bias towards “app” recently, but I do believe that there will be a swing back to the browser.

AdExchanger.com: And can any publisher potentially join your platform?

JENNIFER LUM: Right now, it is a relatively simple process but it’s one that we do through a managed process. We will be launching a self‑service portal in Q2.

AdExchanger.com: According to the release, you’ve raised two million dollars in seed financing. What do you think you’ll be using that money for?

JENNIFER LUM: It’s primarily going to be allocated towards hiring and building out our team. It will be in product and business development.

AdExchanger.com: How do you think your past experiences at Quattro, Apple, Enpocket and Nokia, will help inform the development of Adelphic?

CHANGFENG WENG: Definitely the lessons learned about what data works, and how to make the system work better.

JENNIFER LUM: And the firsthand knowledge of understanding the key challenges that we worked through with our clients – both on the publisher and the developer side.

To read this article in its entirety, visit AdExchanger.

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From iAd To Launching Pad, New ‘Predictive’ Data Platform Could Be Organizing Principle Mobile Advertising Has Been Waiting For

March 13, 2012 in News

mobile advertisingIf audience data is truly the currency of digital advertising and media-buying, then a new “predictive” audience data-targeting platform being rolled out today, could finally do for the mobile advertising marketplace what the litany of advertising technology platforms have done for the online display ad marketplace: become an organizing principle enabling advertisers and agencies to plan, buy and measure the effectiveness of vast amounts of unsold inventory.

The reason that no material player has yet emerged in the mobile audience data marketplace, say the founders of the new company, Adelphic Mobile, is the complexity of data signals that need to be aggregated, processed and analyzed to effectively target mobile users.

In the online display marketplace, the only data comes from a relatively limited array of sources — content and ad servers, ISPs and the user’s browser — says Adelphic Co-Founder Changfeng Wang. In the mobile ad marketplace, the number of data sources necessary to target a user is magnified by the complexity of the mobile industry’s infrastructure, including varying handsets, devices, carriers, browsers, and applications as well as the physical location of the user.

It’s the reason, says Co-Founder Jennifer Lum, that only a fraction — maybe as little as a third of all mobile ad impressions currently being served — are even sold.

Wang and Lum know something about the mobile advertising marketplace. They are mobile industry vets who were key players at companies such as Nokia, Enpocket, m-Qube, Quattro and ultimately Apple iAd, where they met and decided to form a venture that would help organize the disparate mobile data infrastructure.

Their venture is also backed by some pretty savvy investors, including $2 million in seed funding from successful venture capital firm Matrix Partners, which is helping to manage its growth. Matrix General Partner Antonio Rodriguez has even joined Adelphic’s board.

Wang says the real power of Adelphic is its powerful predictive modeling system, which he dubbed a Predictive Data Platform. An expert in machine learning, Wang developed a system that utilizes sophisticated models that can identify the prospective value of a user by sorting vast arrays of data, including the context of the mobile content they are browsing, as well as the offline physical location they are browsing from.

The trick, he says, was developing a system that could scale it across the billions of mobile user impressions.

After completing beta trials with mobile-savvy shops such as Digitas and Mobext, he says Adelphic is ready for its public general release.

Currently, he says Adelphic is processing 12 billion mobile user impressions daily, and he estimates it will add another “5 billion to 8 billion impressions” each month until it achieves a critical mass of the industry — about 100 billion mobile user impressions daily.

“We think we have the critical mass to serve campaigns today, and we’re looking at being at really full production about a half a year from now,” says Lum, adding: “The key term here is ‘at scale,’ which is the ability to provide huge volumes and to do that effectively.”

To read this article in its entirety, visit MediaPost.

The post From iAd To Launching Pad, New ‘Predictive’ Data Platform Could Be Organizing Principle Mobile Advertising Has Been Waiting For appeared first on Adelphic.

Quattro Alums Launch Mobile Demand Side Platform Startup Adelphic, Raise $2M

March 13, 2012 in News

mobile demand side platform

Two mobile veterans who worked together at Quattro Wireless, the mobile ad network that formed the basis of Apple’s iAd program, are announcing a new mobile demand side platform company today called Adelphic.

Jennifer Lum, who was the vice president of ad ops at Quattro, tells me that me that she teamed up with her Quattro colleague Changfeng Wang because they wanted to tackle some of the unsolved problems in mobile advertising. Specifically, she says that Wang has developed new “AudienceCube” targeting technology that should help “unlock” the brand badges for mobile campaigns, giving advertisers new insight about who exactly their ads are reaching.

Adelphic’s Predictive Data Platform can be sold to advertisers and publishers to help them optimize campaigns. For example, Lum says Adelphic could partner with a publisher like TechCrunch to use predictive modeling to determine which members of its readership are likely to fall into a specific demographic, and to target ads based on those predictions. Early tests, which began in the third quarter of last year, have already shown a dramatic improvement in campaign results, she says.

The company is also announcing a $2 million seed round of funding. Matrix Partners’ Antonio Rodriguez is joining Adelphic’s board of directors, and he compares Adelphic’s mobile demand side platform to the last Matrix investment that I talked to him about, The Echo Nest. There might not seem to be much connection between a music startup and mobile ad tech, but Rodriguez said both startups have taken a time-consuming process and improved it by making it technologically- and algorithmically-driven.

To read the article in full, visit TechCrunch.


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