With an estimated 80% of unsold inventory in mobile, programmatic buying would seem a natural fit for mobile. But a panel at OMMA RTB raised some of the challenges facing mobile exchanges, mainly having to do with the medium’s relative immaturity compared to online. One big problem pointed out by Jason Cianchette, GM, Liquid Wireless (Publishers Clearing House) is that much of the inventory is crap. The problem is there’s a lot of publishers who haven’t figured out what to do in mobile so they’re holding back,” he said. That’s opened the door to “the guy with the sketchy app, he’s going to put his inventory up on mobile because he’s just going to collect his check right now.”
Cianchette also estimated about 40% to 50% of potential mobile inventory is on Facebook, which the social network hasn’t started selling yet. When it does, that means a whole lot more inventory will be flooding the mobile market, creating more opportunity for exchanges.