Flurry Opens Mobile RTB Exchange, Though True Gains Appear Years Away

Simon Khalaf, FlurryMobile app analytics provider Flurry has been preparing for a world where mobile is the main nexus for marketing and e-commerce. And while mobile ad spend generally lags way behind consumer usage, the company believes that dynamic will change relatively quickly and that its Flurry Marketplace, the name of its mobile RTB system, will help set the standard early on.

It also considers itself to be fairly well-positioned to generate significant revenues from mobile RTB compared to others who have attempted to fill this niche. First and foremost, the Flurry Marketplace comes pre-bundled with app audience data that demand side platforms, agency trading desks and app developers/publishers can immediately plug into. By dint of Flurry’s existing analytics platform, its pitch to marketers is that it can reach targeted audiences without having to rely on third party audience data since the company’s user data is assembled from more than 300,000 apps running across more than 1 billion mobile smartphones and tablets each month.

“The Flurry Marketplace is an extension of our AppSpot platform” a mobile supply-side tool, Simon Khalaf, Flurry’s president and CEO told AdExchanger in an interview. “The basic thesis is that no one cared about mobile five years ago. We had an opportunity to build an analytics stack to provide a deeper understanding of [an] app’s usage and consumer behavior. We also built a buyside business that included retargeting and extended to that to performance marketing. The Flurry Marketplace is the next phase.”

According to IDC, worldwide RTB advertising spending is forecasted to surpass $13 billion by 2016. Figures for the mobile RTB market are a bit more murky, especially when applied singularly to the app economy. Among the stats that seem to point to the viability of a mobile RTB market, earlier this year, Adfonic claimed that mobile CTRs and eCPMs were much higher for RTB, compared to non-RTB metrics: 48% and 64% higher, respectively.

Considering the growth of mobile usage, it’s only a matter of time before mobile RTB itself becomes a substantial contributor to the wider online ad world. By methodically building a set of products until the mobile RTB moment fully arrives, Flurry believes it will be better able to fend off larger latecomers.

In addition to AppSpot, which represents 1,000 long-tail and large publishers, Flurry Marketplace will connect with the San Francisco company’s ad network, Flurry AppCircle. The products were all formed in-house, with Flurry devoting two years to Marketplace.

“Look, it took almost 15-, 18 years for online to get scale and we’re still at the point where no one gets fired for buying TV,” Khalaf said. “Mobile is becoming interesting. But in order to achieve anything, you have enough infrastructure to make it interesting. Mobile is not like the web. Consumer packaged goods can impact consumers while they’re in the shopping aisle. There’s so much more you can do with performance marketing than you can on the web. It’s clear that mobile will be as effective as search and as scalable as TV  And it won’t take 15 more years.”

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