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Medialets Gets Into Mobile Attribution

ServototalattributionWhen it comes to audience, there can never be too much of a good thing.

That’s the theory behind a self-serve tool from Medialets, dubbed Servo Total Attribution, released Wednesday. The tool is designed to help media buyers, agencies and exchanges measure mobile ad ROI in real time by tying mobile conversions to impressions served across apps and mobile browsers.

The solution is an addition to Servo, Medialets’ buy-side mobile ad server launched in February, which had basic attribution functionality only as a managed service. Total Attribution is an effort to broaden the tool and make it, in the words of company CEO and co-founder Eric Litman, “a self-service workflow for configuring and understanding how attribution works in mobile.”

“When a media seller is buying or serving media on behalf of clients, whether that be publishers, exchanges or DSPs, they have the ability to receive real-time feedback, known in mobile as postbacks, from Servo when a particular user converts as the result of engaging in that seller’s inventory,” Litman said. “It then allows them to optimize their campaign in real time by finding more people they believe look or behave like the user that just converted.”

While Alec Baldwin’s character in “Glengarry Glen Ross” told his salespeople to “always be closing,” in the world of mobile media buying, the phrase can be tweaked: “Always be testing,” Litman said. While Servo acts as both an ad server and now an attribution engine, it’s up to the DSP or exchange to do the rest.


Opera Mediaworks, A $2 Billion Underdog, Works Its Way To An All-Mobile Future

OperaMediaworksmobile“We sometimes make the joke that we’re the largest mobile ad company that no one’s ever heard of, and it’s kind of true,” quipped Scott Swanson, president of global advertising sales at Opera Mediaworks.

The mobile ad platform is looking to change that with the hire of Ryan Griffin as SVP of strategic accounts. Griffin, formerly SVP of strategic sales at ad tech and services company Undertone, will helm the newly formed strategic accounts department at Opera Mediaworks, which Swanson hopes will help alter industry perception of the company as “just another vendor.”

“My focus will be on our key customers, primarily in the US, though we’ll potentially extend that as needed,” said Griffin, who will report directly to Swanson. The new department will also work with the Opera Mediaworks innovation team to keep brand and advertiser clients apprised of research and new mobile offerings.

Opera Mediaworks, which became an official separate subsidiary of Opera Software back in February 2013, claims to be responsible for somewhere between 17 and 20% of global mobile ad spend, depending on estimates, which tend to be a bit of moving target. Gartner recently revised its 2014 global mobile spend forecast from $13.1 billion to just shy of $18 billion.

That percentage of the pie might sound impossibly high, but the Opera Mediaworks client list sheds some light. According to Swanson, Opera Mediaworks does business with a list of global brands that includes American Express, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, P&G, Mondelez, Microsoft, Samsung, Chevrolet, BMW and Sony. Opera Mediaworks also powers ad serving for large-scale publishers like Pandora, Shazam, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.


Trouble Shared Is Trouble Halved? Data Co-Op Aims To Help App Developers Stay Ahead Of The Game

You don’t have to be good at math to know that if you only get $3 back on a $4 investment, then there’s something painfully wrong with whatever you’re doing.

No one’s more aware of that than game app developers, some of whom spend thousands of dollars on user acquisition daily — though the truly big players shell out way more than that. Take Supercell, creator of “Clash of Clans,” which sinks about $1 million a day on app marketing.

Of course, Supercell can afford it because the math works. Midia Research found that the game company makes $5 million in revenue every day. The more you test, the better your chances are of snagging the right users, and the more you make, the more you can test.

But smaller or mid-size app developers attempting to navigate the murky waters of the app-install economy are often met by a landscape populated by middlemen, unqualified audiences, and bot-infested ad networks.

It’s something Think Gaming co-founder Tim Ogilvie has thought a lot about and it’s the motivation behind the gaming company’s new mobile advertising data co-op, which he says will help game developers pool their experience and share intelligence in the ongoing quest to find the most valuable users.


Flurry: What It is, Where It Stands And Why Yahoo Wants It

confusedaboutflurryWhat does Yahoo’s deal to buy Flurry have to do with Twitter’s purchase of mobile exchange MoPub last year? Nothing and everything.

But first, let’s define our terms.

What is Flurry, exactly?

Flurry has a grab bag of solutions under its umbrella: analytics, ad network capabilities and ad exchange functions. But at its core, Flurry is an analytics company that maintains direct relationships with 170,000 individual app developers, all of which have installed Flurry’s SDK, meaning the company can track customer behavior on more than 542,000 mobile apps.

Flurry uses that rich source of first-party data to power "Flurry for Advertisers" (formerly AppCircle), which acts like an ad network, helping app developers target audiences and encourage app downloads. Same goes for video.

On top of all that, Flurry launched an RTB marketplace last year, which CEO Simon Khalef at the time told AdExchanger is meant to be an extension of its buy-side business and performance marketing. Several sources, however, suggested that Flurry’s programmatic capability is far less robust than an exchange like MoPub.

One source who spoke with AdExchanger, the CEO of a major mobile app measurement company, said that the "Flurry for Advertisers" ad network is responsible for the bulk of Flurry’s revenue, noting that the app inventory available on Flurry’s exchange is thin.

Interestingly, multiple sources in the app ecosystem approached by AdExchanger weren’t aware that Flurry even has an exchange, which may indicate Flurry’s exchange hasn’t yet made much of an impression on the market.


Yahoo To Buy Flurry, Gaining Foothold In Booming App Tracking Market

FlurryYahooJust a week after Yahoo’s Q2 earnings call, in which CEO Marissa Mayer said she was looking to position Yahoo as a “mobile-first company,” the M&A bug has hit again: Yahoo is acquiring mobile analytics platform and ad marketplace Flurry. Publishers sell their ad inventory through Flurry’s platform or buy traffic from applications, which also provides analytics to help advertisers track customer behavior.

The deal, first reported in Re/Code, is an interesting and necessary move for Yahoo, considering the company’s active monthly mobile user base of 450 million, a number that’s more than doubled since Mayer came on board as CEO two years ago. TechCrunch reported that Yahoo could be shelling out anywhere between $300 million and $1 billion on the acquisition.

Yahoo confirmed the news with a post on Tumblr, stating that, "By joining Yahoo, Flurry will have resources to speed up the delivery of platforms that can help developers build better apps reach the right users, and explore new revenue opportunities."

Yahoo needs to build out its customer journey tracking capabilities, a technological boost that could be served by bringing Flurry into the fold. It’s a move that Constellation Research CEO and principal analyst Ray Wang said is key to Yahoo’s future, noting that Yahoo has “underinvested in its mobile ad networks and mobile analytics” up until this point.


Supersonic Adds APAC Velocity With $15M Round

SupersonicFollowing an injection of $15 million in Series B funding, app monetization platform and mobile SSP Supersonic has its eye on the East.

The company, which changed its name from SupersonicAds last week, plans to use the cash to expand into Asia — China, Japan, and India specifically — which Supersonic CEO and cofounder Gil Shoham calls “the fastest growing mobile market on the planet.”

Supersonic’s current client list includes Hyundai, Disney, and Unilever on the brand side, and game developers Machine Zone and Nordeus.

The new round, supported by existing investor Greylock IL and Hong Kong-based VC firm SAIF Partners, brings Superonic’s total funding to $23.2 million. Supersonic declined to reveal its current valuation.


For Advertisers in China, It’s Android or Go Home

AndroidsInChinaChina accounted for more than half of the total global mobile ad spend in Q2 2014.

We’ll let that sink in for a moment.

From a number like that, it’s little wonder Chinese advertisers and developers are increasing their mobile spend and scaling up their businesses internationally, according to a report released Thursday by app monetization company AppFlood. [Read the report.]

“Chinese advertisers accounted for 60% of global spend [this quarter],” said AppFlood cofounder Si Shen. “As for smartphone penetration in the China market, on the back of more than 420 million smartphone devices projected to be shipped to China in 2014, more mobile users are adopting smartphones as the cost plummets.”

But when we’re talking about smartphones in China, we’re not talking iOS. Apple revenue may be rising in China, but Android has nearly all the smartphone market share. According to an article in the July 12 print edition of The Wall Street Journal, a list of the top vendors by share (all Android except for one notable exception) reads as follows: Samsung (17.8%); Lenovo (11.4%); Coolpad (9.6%); Huawei (8.8%); Xiaomi (8.3%); and Apple (6%). Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei, and Xiaomi are all Chinese companies.


Axonix CEO: “Mobile Will Appear Out Of Nowhere in LatAm”

simon birkenhead axonixThe sad tale of mobile ad exchange Mobclix, which was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2013 after being acquired — and mismanaged — by mobile agency Velti, seems like it could have a happy ending.

In November, Mobclix was acquired yet again, re-emerging several months ago as Axonix, a programmatic mobile exchange underpinned by the Mobclix technology. Axonix started life in a partnership with Spanish carrier Telefonica, whose demographic data is being pumped into the exchange.

“What we’ve found, generally, in talking to both supply side and demand side, is that Mobclix has a very good reputation from a technology point of view,” said Axonix CEO and former Telefonica ad exec Simon Birkenhead. “There was a lot of frustration that it collapsed and there were debts that were owed to people because it collapsed, but once we explained that we’re a new company with a new management team and that all we want to do is scale the Mobclix technology back up, people actually get quite excited to work with us.”

Although it only officially turned on the tech about three months ago, Axonix already has relationships with about 14,000 app developers and publishers, a business Birkenhead said he’s hoping to grow in Latin America especially, where he sees greater opportunity than in the crowded US market.

“I’d like to take our knowledge and contacts in LatAm and invest in that market in advance of anything we might do in the US,” he said. “There’s a lot of competition in this area and we prefer to go somewhere where, though it might be a smaller market, there’s also greater potential.”

Birkenhead sat down with AdExchanger.


Nielsen’s Metrics Go Mobile (Officially)

The cross-device measurement chasm just got a little smaller with the commercial release of mobile ad measurement capabilities, now available as part of Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) tool.

The promise of mobile web and in-app measurement is both an alluring prospect for advertisers looking for a cross-platform view of consumers across digital and TV — and an important expansion for Nielsen.

“Up until this point, there has been a lack of quality third-party mobile ad measurement, and thus advertisers haven’t had access to audience and ROI metrics consistently across platforms,” said Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at Nielsen. “The expansion of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings hopes to address this previously unmet need and enable advertisers to evaluate campaign success across TV, PC, mobile and smartphone holistically.”

As consumers become increasingly device agnostic, measurement platforms need to follow suit. As Nielsen’s president of global product leadership Steve Hasker somewhat confidently predicted in a chat with AdExchanger back in May: “In a couple of years, you will see marketers using the OCR system to measure media no matter where it goes.”


AMI Scales Up Mobile Programmatic With Amobee

bilman amiAmerican Media Inc. (AMI) is turning to Amobee to handle its entire mobile inventory.

It’s the biggest traditional print publisher deal in the US yet for SingTel-owned Amobee, which will service AMI’s 40 million unique viewers spanning 18 properties including OK! Magazine, Shape and Men’s Fitness. The mobile-centric ad tech company will provide analytics tools for AMI, supply custom mobile ads and sell inventory through its real-time bidding exchange.

AMI chief digital officer and global head of business development Joe Bilman said he hopes the Amobee partnership will help the publisher to catch up in the mobile marketplace and better optimize its inventory.

“We’ve seen the audience shift from desktop to tablet and mobile," Bilman said. "With some of our brands, 60% of consumers are engaging on a mobile device.”

While the viewers may be there, the money hasn’t followed. AMI’s digital revenue grew 23% in 2013, but that was just 3% of total AMI revenue, far below print advertising and subscriptions. Bilman expects digital to be a more significant presence next year, since mobile revenue already experiences “triple-digit growth month over month.” With Amobee, he expects that number could “go up even further.”