DataXu Unveils Mobile DSP
After launching a demand-side platform for mobile media buying with WPP's GroupM last fall, DataXu today announced the formal launch of its DX Mobile system widely. The technology's key selling point is that it extends real-time bidding -- the ability to bid on placements on an impression-by-impression basis in real-time -- to mobile advertising.
The new platform also promises features such as advanced targeting, optimization that automatically allocates ad spending most efficiently, improved attribution metrics and analytics reporting across both the mobile Web and mobile applications.
"This is pushing the fast-forward button on mobile advertising," said DataXu CEO Mike Baker. "We're saying it's time for this industry to mature and become easier for media buyers and to deliver the same results as online DSPs." DX Mobile is also part of the broader company's all-in-one DX2 system for buying and optimizing placements across online, video and mobile display formats.
For mobile ads, DataXu's technology is integrated with inventory suppliers including Google, Nexage, AdMeld. Last September, the company partnered with GroupM to develop the "decisioning technology" powering its B3 media-trading platform. Use of the system was led by GroupM's in-house mobile unit, Joule, but all of its media shops -- Maxus, MEC, MediaCom and Mindshare -- were meant to adopt it.
"We're able to make decisions based on statistical probabilities," he said. "So by looking at ad server logs and site analytics we're able to make inferences which are predictive of the kind of ads that will be most valuable for a given brand."
He added that bringing real-time bidding would also help agencies streamline the still cumbersome process of media buying in mobile. The extra effort required to run campaigns in a fragmented medium can be especially challenging when mobile budgets remain small.
Gartner media analyst Andrew Frank, however, questioned whether the mobile market was ready for new mobile DSPs like DataXu's that would buy inventory through ad exchanges just like online platforms. In a blog post last September in relation to the GroupM-DataXu initiative, he noted that there needs to be a critical mass of buyers and sellers for an exchange to work.
"This also goes for the highly-touted targeting capabilities of mobile: They're only valuable if the resulting segments are large enough to interest advertisers, and we still appear to be short of audience," he wrote.
Frank suggested mobile ad exchanges might not take off until Google integrates AdMob mobile inventory into its AdX online display exchange. Google last week said AdMob now receives more than 2 billion ad requests a day, up fourfold in the last year.