PubMatic Joins Forces With xAd On Location-Enabled Inventory

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mobile-deviceDemand for location-based ad inventory is rising and PubMatic, the supply-side platform (SSP) provider, is one of the latest companies to boost its location-enabled inventory.

PubMatic teamed up with location-based ad network xAd to create a programmatic marketplace of location-verified inventory, the companies said Friday.

“Location is critical from a mobile standpoint,” said Bob Walczak, PubMatic GM of mobile and video. “And xAd has developed technology that enables better identification of the data to make sure it’s accurate and find more impressions that have location associated with it, so we’re excited to work with them.”

Although xAd primarily has mobile application inventory, it also includes mobile Web impressions. The new marketplace includes approximately 20 billion location-verified monthly impressions. The impressions will be grouped under “tiers of quality,” Walczak added. “We’ll expose some impressions in the open level market but only expose the higher-value data in the private market to create scarcity,” he said.

Walczak declined to specify how the tiers will be defined or priced since they are still being developed. The tiered offerings will be available within the next two quarters, he said.

Offering prime location data could also help PubMatic increase the value of its private marketplaces, an area where the SSP company reportedly lags behind its competitors.

Other ad tech companies are attempting to monetize location data as well. Google lets advertisers show ads that are triggered by searches on Google Maps, among other location-based ads offerings. YP in January acquired Sense Networks, a 10-person startup that offers location- and behavioral-based ad-targeting capabilities. And Twitter is reportedly enhancing its location-based mobile ad capabilities.

Sourcing and identifying the various types of location data that can pass through a mobile device continues to be a challenge however, with inaccuracy rates ranging from 60-80%, according to vendors and agencies.

Even though companies are developing their own methods for vetting location data, without a set of standards, it is difficult to compare or confirm the accuracy of the data, said Jason Pope, VP of AOD mobile at digital agency VivaKi.

“We believe that location is the new and relevant context in mobile,” Pope said. “The technology is getting better and more accurate all the time but there is still some work to do to ensure 100% location accuracy.”

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