Online and mobile ad services come together
The lines are blurring between online and mobile advertising: One emerging trend is to fill advertising in both places at once.
I previously wrote about how ad optimization companies can help publishers find the best price for inventory from ad networks and other sources. Mobile ad optimization companies can help achieve the same goal in mobile. Now, the two types of services are beginning to team up.
Earlier this year, Rubicon Project partnered with mOcean Mobile to give publishers a unified view of mobile and display campaigns. This week the ad optimization platform PubMatic has entered into the mobile market, announcing that its platform for premium publishers will include mobile ad optimization through a partnership with the mobile advertising company Smaato.
The new capability is similar to what PubMatic's online display advertising platform can do by helping publishers decide which ad network, demand-side platform (DSP) or real-time bidding partner will pay the most for ad space. Now on mobile platforms (including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and other applications as well as the mobile Web), PubMatic can help publishers decide which mobile ad network is willing to pay the most for mobile ad space.
Smaato's SOMA platform (Smaato Open Mobile Advertising) works with more than 7,000 publishers, aggregating more than 50 mobile advertising networks with the goal of improving fill rates with publishers (it works on a revenue share arrangement).
The big difference in mobile is geolocation, explained Harald Neidhardt, CMO and co-founder of Smaato. As publishers see traffic come in from all over the world, working solely with big U.S. ad networks might not cut it. Smaato's goal is to fill ads that are relevant to the user, who might be on his BlackBerry in India (in addition to finding the best price for the publisher, like all optimization platforms). Neidhardt calls the service “a global aggregator of local ad networks.”
Expect to see more of these types of links between online and mobile advertising platforms for publishers.
Large-screen e-reader devices such as the iPad are blurring the lines between mobile and the PC-based Web, Neidhardt noted. And as mobile advertising grows, more online ad services want to be able to offer mobile as well. “Online and mobile are coming together,” he said.