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Mobilizing Monetization

For the last six months my primary focus at Rubicon has been on our mobile strategy.  For me, last year was the year of Real-Time Bidding and this year is the year of Mobile.  Here’s an excerpt from my blog post that accompanied the initial launch of our mobile offering today. This post is also published on the Rubicon Project blog

Mobile AdvertisingIn 2013, eMarketer data suggests that the US mobile advertising market will be a two billion dollar business.  Over one third of those dollars will hit display advertising on mobile devices.   This is not a steady state.  The market is growing 45%-60% year over year, and this trend will continue for at least the next few years.

Publishers are having difficulty capitalizing on this trend.  Several sources suggest that only 25% of available display inventory is being sold.  With such low fill rates it’s no wonder that, to this point, mobile display advertising has been on the back burner for many of them.

In 2011 Rubicon conducted a publisher survey on a wide variety of aspects in the digital advertising market.  While many important topics ranked highly as publisher concerns, mobile was at the top of the list.  Our customers were asking us for a solution.

A typical mobile solution currently employed by many publishers involves running direct campaigns with one of several mobile ad-serving platforms.  Most of these systems have tools to target and serve direct campaigns, display reports and send unfilled inventory to a mediation partner.  This partner makes efforts to fill the inventory with the ads on hand, but typically serves blank ads much of the time.

During our mobile research in the first quarter of 2012 we found that a true monetization platform that handled mobile inventory properly for buyers and sellers was lacking in the market.  Some SSPs were offering mobile monetization, but the inventory they brought to the market was not always optimized for display on mobile devices.  Other vendors were offering an exclusively mobile solution, which required publishers to log into yet another system.

In the second quarter, the Rubicon Project acquired a small mobile company out of San Francisco and immediately set itself on a path to bring a holistic monetization solution for publishers that addressed display advertising in both online and mobile mediums.  Rubicon is making high quality, mobile optimized inventory available and attracting high quality demand partners to buy it.  Rubicon’s REVV for Mobile solution will bring higher fill rates to publishers at higher rates.

It was important to address both publisher needs and demand partner concerns.  REVV will isolate and validate mobile optimized inventory for buyers, which will bring greater buyer confidence and higher prices for the inventory.  Publishers will also have an opportunity to take advantage of our new mobile ad server for scheduling their direct campaigns as well as build highly interactive ad units that take advantage of the rich features of today’s smartphones.

With these powerful tools, REVV for Mobile will empower publishers to finally take advantage of the rapidly growing mobile advertising market.  Buyers and sellers will find the liquidity they’re looking for to transact safe advertising deals in mobile, just like they do in online display.

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