Adsquare Serves Up PMPs For Mobile Audience Data (Not Ad Space)

AdsquarePMPThere are lots of private marketplaces for mobile inventory out there. On Tuesday, Adsquare launched a PMP for mobile data.

Supply-side players like PubMatic, Rubicon Project and Adform already allow buyers to bid on inventory in a private deal. “We’re enabling data owners to decide who can make use of their data,” said Adsquare CEO Tom Laband.

It makes sense to have a PMP just for mobile audience data because mobile audience data is such a different beast, Laband said. The main concern is around longevity. Mobile IDs are far more persistent than cookies, so publishers play them closer to the vest.

Data comes courtesy of direct publisher partnerships, as well as hookups with offline data sources, including Acxiom and MasterCard. Adsquare’s exchange is based solely on mobile ad IDs and apps.

Adsquare has around 150 clients on the platform, and the PMP is in closed beta with several trading desks. The functionality will be generally available in mid-September.

In traditional mobile PMPs, prices can be volatile due to low volume of available inventory. In Adsquare’s case, each data provider is asked to onboard at least 100,000 users per country per segment to ensure that the volume is there. Advertisers can also combine segments from multiple data providers to enable reach.

Publishers set parameters around who’s able to tap into to their mobile audience data through whitelists, blacklists or putting a gate on the segment so that the buyer has to request access directly from the publisher before a deal gets set up.

Buy-side partners, like Adsquare client GroupM, can log into Adsquare’s platform to scope the availability of data segments on the DSPs with which they’re integrated.

“The agency trading desks directly activate segments on their DSP of choice,” Laband said. “We look at the bid request and tell the DSP if a segment is available or not, but we don’t distribute our partners’ raw data to third parties.”

Adsquare’s offering has pre-bid integration with a number of DSPs, including The Trade Desk, AppNexus and Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.

When a deal does take place, the data never leaves the safety of the PMP.

It’s an appealing prospect to Onefootball, a German soccer app with more than 22 million global users. The unauthorized transfer of Onefootball’s proprietary data keeps the company’s VP of sales, Caspar von Klot-Heydenfeldt, up at night.

Onefootball, which is in the process of setting up its PMP with Adsquare, has some choice data in its coffers. When users sign up, the app asks for their favorite team and players. That information is then tied to a mobile ID, which makes it easy to target fans with their specific interests.

“Our main worry is that I give out my data and someone takes it to use somewhere else and never needs to come back to me and book a campaign with my inventory,” said von Klot-Heydenfeldt. “We want to be in 100% control of whoever asks for our data.”

And the buy side is asking. Brands are looking to mobile data as a way to help enrich third-party data assets, said Jan Kröger, managing partner of Adsquare customer GroupM Connect.

“If we have a device ID and we can fuse that with a client’s data, we might be able to know which locations are important for our audience,” Kröger said.

In the past, GroupM used Adsquare to target certain sports-related locations because a particular client was sponsoring a sporting event. “We were able to activate the target audience in combination with other on-the-ground activities happening there,” he said.

Beyond assuaging publisher concerns around sharing their first-party info, a mobile data PMP also “gives buying power back to the agency so they can build and execute exclusive deals,” said Sacha Berlik, managing director for EMEA at The Trade Desk, whose clients are primarily agencies.

“PMPs are the next evolutionary step for programmatic,” Berlik said. “Programmatic doesn’t just mean open-market RTB. It’s also the data-enriched buying of inventory and the exclusive buying of inventory.”

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