Rumble Brings Mobile-First Thinking To Premium Programmatic

by , Dec 17, 2013, 9:45 AM
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“Mobile-first” is a term we started hearing in 2013, and one we’ll be hearing a lot more in the year ahead. As mobile factors more and more heavily into everyday life, publishers and advertisers alike have to start thinking much more progressively about their mobile strategies. It might sounds clichéd, but this is the year mobile has to become a priority. No more dipping toes in the water; time to dive in.

With an enterprise platform that makes it easy for content-heavy publishers to meet consumers on any screen, Rumble is making “mobile-first” a reality for former print dailies and other premium content providers. And with its technology-agnostic infrastructure and embedded monetization tools, Rumble is also poised to seamlessly enable premium programmatic for publishers across screens.

While many publishers are still slow to embrace mobile, others are finding they have no other option. Uyen Tieu, Rumble’s CRO, shared with me a publisher partner’s confession that the company hadn’t expected its mobile traffic to surpass online traffic for another three years – but it happened in three months. “Publishers are going to see different trends within their own user bases,” Tieu notes. “Obviously, those with a much older and traditional user base may not see as dramatic a cliff as publishers with a Millennial audience.”

That’s on the user side, but internally, the shift to mobile will rely on how management defines mobile. Tieu tells me some publishers limit their definition to smartphones, excluding tablets, noting, “That is crazy to me, especially when the screen size between a smartphone and tablet makes them nearly indistinguishable.” Tieu contends that publishers have to think user-centrically, making content accessible to consumers whether they find it via search or download the publisher’s app.

Tieu cautions that publishers could be risking users and traffic by not approaching their audiences more holistically. “Consumers have their devices on them 24/7. They form habits. If your content is not easily consumable to them across all their preferred devices and formats, you are going to eventually lose them,” she warns.

When it comes to monetization, Tieu also likes to think holistically. Rumble offers a variety of options within the platform, including advertising. Tieu sees programmatic playing an important role here, and Rumble has partnered with networks, exchanges and data players across the display landscape to facilitate programmatic trading. Tieu promotes a balance of “hand sold” and “machine sold” advertising for most publishers. Programmatic, as she puts it, creates a “super-powerful matchmaking machine,” ensuring there is a perfect fit between publisher and advertiser – without the manual work required for a “hand sold” deal.

Ultimately technology will drive publisher adoption of programmatic, because it will depend on the ad units that can be supported. Taking an “app factory” or similar route to a mobile presence, could leave publishers with limited advertising options. “Publishers could be stuck with IAB legacy banners as their only offer,” says Tieu. “Then customized ads might entail completely new technology or at least a lot of custom work -- which would eat into the margin of that advertising sale.”

It was important to Tieu and her team that the Rumble platform be completely agnostic to ad units. “Our job as an enabler for publishers is to allow any ad unit - whether it is highly customized or the newest IAB Rising Star – to be supported by our platform, so whether it’s sold by hand or machine, our publishers are able to benefit.”

And while content matters most and data ups the premium factor, the ad unit is a consideration as well. “If you only support the bare minimum mobile banner, you essentially cut off any future potential of high price growth.”

Premium ad units command a premium. And the combination of fresh data, quality content and rich ad units defines premium on any screen. Thanks to Rumble and many other companies, programmatic and mobile first are made for each other!

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