Opera Mediaworks Tosses Native Into The Mix On Its Mobile Exchange

OperaMediaworksNativeThe singles ad would read like this: Mobile native inventory seeks demand.

In an effort to act as matchmaker, global mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks launched Tuesday a private marketplace native extension of its mobile ad exchange, Opera Mediaworks Ad Exchange (OMAX), which until now had just focused on programmatic display and video.

Because the native offering is built on top of Opera’s existing exchange infrastructure, supply comes from the relationships it’s already built with about 15,000 mobile sites and apps globally.

Publishers who license AdMarvel – Opera acquired the ad server in 2010 – can “provision their ad inventory to be considered for native ad placement at scale programmatically through OMAX,” said Opera Mediaworks’ president of global supply, Mark Fruehan.

“We also make the tools available to our publishers’ sales teams to create custom unique native ad experiences in our rich media builder,” he said, referring to Studio, Opera’s creative extension of AdMarvel.

“From a product perspective, publishers have the ability to creative custom native ad experience that their [sales]people can take to the market,” Fruehan said.

The native exchange supports in-content and in-stream IAB banner ad units (300 x 250) and 300 x 50 standard mobile banners. Opera will also support native rich media and video formats.

Launch partners include a smorgasbord of native demand sources, including Facebook, mobile ad network Appsfire, programmatic search player adMarketplace, native ad exchange Bidtellect and mobile ad platform TapSense. On the publisher side, Opera is plugging into content aggregator Demand Media, online game network WildTangent, game developer Gogii Games and Spring-owned mobile ad services company Pinsight Media.

Opera is looking to provide its buyers and its sellers with quantity and quality, a combination of volume and the kind of in-app/brand-safe native inventory advertisers are looking for, Fruehan said.

“The differentiating factor is the massive reach in conjunction with the quality,” he said. “We’re [also] very selective about the supply inventory we sign.”

Although Russian game publisher ZeptoLab – the company behind popular puzzles game “Cut the Rope,” which has been downloaded more than 600 million times since its 2010 release – was one of the earliest adopters of the native exchange and claims to have seen good results, Fruehan said that Opera isn’t just focused on gaming with its new offering.

“We have our owned and operated sales, as well as our indirect partners globally, delivering pure brand, branded response and pure performance/direct response – app installs, mostly games, but also financial institutions wanting to promote bank apps, for example – which spend across our native mobile ad exchange,” Fruehan said. “We cover the entire purchasing funnel and all different types of ad buys.”

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