Oath Overhauls Mobile In-App Header Bidding-Like Technology

Oath has launched a new version of its in-app mobile bidding platform released in June 2017. While it works similar to header bidding, Pat McCormack, vice president of publisher sales at Oath, describes it as a “unified auction for in-app ad inventory,” basically because there’s no page header in a mobile application.

Initially called Smart Yield, and now renamed to Super Auction, the tool allows publishers to drive more competition for impressions, increase average CPMs, and create an auction environment that they control. It enables the publisher to conduct a parallel auction, which means receiving bids in real-time from multiple exchange partners like MoPub or AdMob rather than the server having to wait until it goes through each digital ad call until it finds the best choice.  

For example, ONE by AOL previously would host an auction for its own demand and send the top bid to the developer’s SSP partner, where it might compete against the highest bids from other demand sources. The winner would get the placement.

The new version of Super Auction runs in parallel against demand from the publisher’s SSP.

McCormack said when publishers ask all ad servers to bid at once it creates a more competitive auction that drives prices higher.

Mobile game developer Iversoft saw a 30% increase in average daily revenue and 54% increase in average CPM, McCormack said.

McCormack declined to say how many brands are using the platform, but said Oath has more than 50 publishing brands such as HuffPost and TechCrunch -- many of which have or will apply technology like this.

These are trends the industry has seen in display running on desktop, and now they are moving into mobile. “It’s a way to keep the primary ad servers or SSP honest, because there was a hypnosis they may be favoring their own demand sources, depressing publisher yield,” he said.

And while the principals and mechanics on mobile are different than what marketers would see in traditional header bidding on desktop, he said the combined team of Yahoo and AOL worked hard to develop solutions that could be moved to work in mobile applications.

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