Over 50% Of Money Traded On Mobile Ad Exchange Nexage Is Via RTB

In recent months, two of the hottest topics in the world of advertising have been mobile and real-time bidding (RTB). Both methods have been surging, so it would only make sense that combining them - mobile inventory being traded via RTB - would lead to rapid growth.

Premium mobile ad exchange Nexage today announced that RTB-traded inventory now accounts for more than 50% of the money exchanging hands via their exchange. Victor Milligan, CMO of Nexage, spoke with RTM Daily about reaching the milestone and why it's an important one.

Milligan said that in the early months of 2012, RTB-traded inventory accounted for 13% of the money flowing on their exchange. By the end of 2012, that number grew to 26%. Now, only a few weeks beyond the midway point of 2013, it accounts for over half. "We expected to have fast growth," Milligan said, "but I think it's fair to say this has exceeded expectations."

There are only two methods of trading on the Nexage exchange - via RTB and via mediated trading. Milligan called mediated trading the incumbent method, and defined it as "a method to enable ad networks to buy impressions." He added, "RTB’s differences lie in its ability to run real-time auctions, at the impression level, across our RTB buyers."

Milligan claimed that the huge growth of RTB has not been cannibalizing mediation. In fact, he claimed that mediation is still seeing growth. "We're just seeing very powerful growth in RTB," he said.

As far as Milligan is aware, Nexage is the first exchange to reach such a milestone. He reasoned that the strong growth is due to many players - including premium publishers, advertisers, and trading desks - getting more involved in programmatic.

When something is growing as fast as RTB has on the Nexage exchange, it's reasonable to expect it to cool off. However, Milligan believes the growth will continue. He said, "Mobile RTB is early in its trending and we expect strong growth to continue, this is because the factors driving growth are themselves early in their trending:  premium publishers are moving swiftly to capitalize on programmatic, there are more and more RTB buyers that are spending more, there is more targetable data available on mobile, and both publishers and buyers are getting more creative about taking advantage of private exchanges."

While the milestone is impressive for Nexage and a good sign for mobile RTB in general, Milligan is still looking forward to the future. He commented that when one looks at ad spend on mobile compared to other mediums, it's clear that there is still "important upside" that he predicts won't be fully tapped for several years.

"I don't think we've seen the end of innovation...in mobile," he said.

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