One of the largest suppliers of real-time bidding and other ad technology solutions to the online display ecosystem announced yesterday that it would be extending its platform into the mobile arena. AppNexus says that by extending its technology into mobile it will help open up the channel to hundreds more of the ad exchanges, trading desks and ad networks it works with on the Web and thousands of new advertisers that have not ventured onto devices yet.
AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley says that having such a large display technology player come to mobile with so many buyers promises to change the game in sparking innovation and even monetization. “There was no scaled ad tech company in mobile,” he says. “If you wanted a mobile business you had to build your own technology. You don’t have to go tech to be in mobile now.” He argues that it is when technology becomes commoditized that real differentiation, value and innovation occur. “Our thinking is if you can build really good plumbing to buy and sell and track an attribute then the tech people will build the interesting things on top of that. That is where value is added.”
O’Kelley says that expanding the base of advertisers moving into mobile ultimately helps publishers solve their now infamous mobile monetization problem. “All the tech works. The question is, can it build businesses?” For publishers, he sees the problem mainly as one of liquidity, where inventory far outstrips demand. “Our first push is to enable display companies to become mobile. I think we will see thousands come in this way, and that will bring money to publishers.“
The AppNexus mobile expansion just finished its alpha stage with five buyers and is now entering beta with 15. Companies involved in this stage include Collective, CPX Interactive and Matomy. The system already integrates with mobile RTB suppliers Nexage, Smaato and MoPub. A full rollout for all AppNexus customers is expected by summer.