Programmatic buying is all the rage in mobile. Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub last week and Millennial Media’s recent purchase of Jumptap are the clearest signals yet of the momentum behind real-time bidding (RTB) in mobile advertising.
App advertising and analytics firm Flurry jumped into the RTB arena earlier this year with the launch of its own real-time exchange for in-app ads. On Tuesday, the company shared findings from the first four months of operation, highlighting how different audience “personas,” or psychographic groups, are valued in the Flurry Marketplace.
The study specifically analyzed different personas according to three factors: supply, or the relative number of auctions to serve impressions to a particular segment; price, or the average eCPM; and clearance rate, the percentage of auctions with a winning bid for a given audience category.
Fashionistas and food and dining lovers drew the highest level of interest from advertisers. They commanded eCPMs of about $1.15 -- higher than any other segments -- and auctions for those impressions had the highest clearance rate, at around 40%. The limited supply of mobile inventory for the two personas helped drive up the pricing and clearance rate.
Flurry noted that less than half of the auctions overall in its marketplace had a winning bidder. “This is a normal and expected in RTB auctions,” stated a company blog post today, citing reasons including price floors being set too high, publishers being able to sell inventory at higher prices elsewhere, and advertisers passing on available inventory.
At the low end of the spectrum in terms of ad demand were music lovers and urban “hipsters.” Although the supply of impressions for these audience groups wasn’t especially high, Flurry reasoned they’re both fairly easy to reach outside its exchange, driving pricing down in the 55-cent to 60-cent range.
The largest supply of impressions was for casual and social gamers, underscoring the popularity and ubiquity of gaming apps.
In an interview, Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf emphasized that the company’s persona-based targeting combined with programmatic buying brings a high level of precision to each bid. “Every RTB call we make, we send out data with it, instead of just saying, here’s the inventory, and you go through it with your own data sources,” he said.
In addition to personas, the exchange allows advertisers to target by age, gender, device, geography, app category, and individual app. To date, Flurry’s RTB marketplace has signed on 30 demand-side platforms, with a goal of 50 by years’ end. The inventory spans 2,500 apps from 1,000 publishers and daily volume has reached 250 million impression bids.
The company’s overall reach has surpassed 1.2 billion unique monthly smartphone and tablet devices. It boasts that its platform tracks app activity on 90% of the world's connected mobile devices, translating into 390,000 apps across some 200 countries.
Flurry separately on Tuesday announced hiring Bob Komin as CFO. He most recently served as CFO at online ticket service Ticketfly, and previously was COO and CFO at Linden Labs and CFO at Tellme Networks, which was since acquired by Microsoft.