Exclusive App Deals; Facebook's Mobile Ad Network Emerges

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Mobile Supply Deals

As mobile gaming rises in popularity, Google and Apple are cutting deals with companies that develop popular games. In exchange for early releases on iOS and Android platforms, game makers are being offered prime marketing spots in app stores. This brings Google and Apple into closer competition, and an article by the WSJ reports that Amazon and Microsoft are also joining the race for exclusivity. Gigaom has the story. Expect more mobile ad impressions from a select club of proven hit-makers.

Facebook’s Mobile Ad Network

Re/code reports that Facebook is set to unveil its first mobile ad network by the end of the month. Facebook was rumored to be toying with this endeavor back in January, yet the development was stalled as the company lacked any mobile ads of its own. However, mobile ads generated $1.24B for the company in the last three months of 2013, with a large chunk of that sum coming from “app-install” ads.This move brings Facebook into the arena with Google’s AdMob network, and Twitter is not far behind with app install ads of its own. Yet recent news of deepening location data could make Facebook’s mobile ad network more valuable. Read more.

The Bot Army

Bots are evolving, according to Nick Bilton in the NYT, as social media sees a surge in bought followers and likes. While computer-generated content used to be easy to spot across social media platforms, bots are beginning to exhibit more humanlike behavior online (for instance keeping regular hours and adopting fake names). “There’s an evolutionary process at work where companies have built better spam filters, which has led to better bots,” sad Tim Hwang, chief scientist at the Pacific Social Architecting Corporation. Get the full story.

TV Beats Digital In Q1

Despite digital’s organically growing rates, TV ad spend drove Madison Avenue spending in 2014’s first quarter. Several major agency holding companies combined media buy data through Standard Media Index, yielding an 18% spike over 2013’s first quarter. Of course, the Olympic Games, NCAA college basketball tournament and Academy Awards all helped drive TV ad spend in Q1. Radio was the only other major medium to expand in Q1, at a rate of 3%, while newspapers, magazines and out-of-home all declined. MediaPost reports the findings.

SMB Mobile Ad Revs

CEO Dipanshu Sharma of location-marketing firm xAd (featured in March on AdExchanger) spoke with Street Fight about the importance of small businesses in ad tech and the challenges of securing recurrent revenue for mobile. xAd seems to be doing all right by the SMB as Sharma delivers (what are likely) gross revenue numbers: “The majority of our revenue, more than 50 percent of the $65 million we did in revenue was from small or medium-sized businesses. A lot of people don’t realize that there is a huge, huge market. Also, last year we generated 14 million phone calls to small and medium-sized businesses. Google generated 60 million, so we’re almost a quarter of the total volume.” Read more.

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