Author: Christopher Reynolds

Japan’s Metaps raises $36m for its ‘big data’ app marketing platform

Japanese startup Metaps, known for its app monetisation and marketing tool, has secured $36m in new funding, taking its overall total to $51.2m in funding since launch. According to the official press release, Metaps intends to use the funds to hire new staff, with the long-term goal of increasing the accuracy of its automated marketing system, further utilising big data, and expanding its services beyond smartphones to other smart devices. Metaps puts a lot of emphasis on its platform’s ability to optimise revenue and user acquisition via the use of AI and big data, allowing for competitive analysis, market analysis and optimising DAU, ARPPU and all the rest. Other marketing automation platforms that offer similar services include popular platforms such as Appboy – which recently

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Avira says mobile ad networks are becoming ‘increasingly aggressive,’ launches own network

Security software company Avira has rolled out its own security-focused mobile ad network and has criticised other mobile ad networks of failing to protect user privacy. Although it doesn’t name names, Avira says “certain mobile ad networks” are becoming “increasingly aggressive when it comes to harvesting user data.” The company adds that it’s now taking “leadership to protect users from compromised ad networks.” Avira’s new offering is created in partnership with AOL Adtech, which is interesting, given that AOL was recently named as one of 30 data and marketing companies thought to be in violation of EU standards on handling personal information of European citizens. According to the press release, Avira’s network displays ads in a way that “respects user privacy” and “ensures the highest

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Fiksu expands headquarters, plans to boost workforce by 200

Fiksu is putting its $100 million in annual revenue to good use with the announcement of a new expansion to its US headquarters. The app marketing company  has opened a new floor in its no 43,000 square foot offices in Boston’s Back Bay. Fiksu says this space will help the company in its goal to almost double the number of global employees to 500 before the end of the year. Fiksu already has offices in London, Helsinki, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as six offices in the US. CEO and founder Micah Adler had this to say: “Expanding our talented team and office space after a banner year of customer growth and accomplishments is cause for a celebration. I’m confident when we look back

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Opera Mediaworks adds native ad support to its mobile exchange

Opera Mediaworks is getting on-board the native wagon with the announcement of a new private, premium, mobile native ad exchange. Demand partners include the likes of Appsfire, AppList, TapSense, Facebook, HeyZap and NativeAd.com, while in-app inventory from publishers such as Demand Media, Gogii Games and Cut the Rope dev ZeptoLab, make-up the majority of its launch supply partners. Up until now Opera Mediaworks’ Exchange had just focused on programmatic display and video on its OMAX exchange, which launched back in 2014. Opera’s president of publisher services Mark Fruehan said: “Programmatic buying has become top of mind for both publishers and advertisers for very good reason. It’s a more workflow efficient environment that automates the often lengthy insertion order process and brings greater audience insight to

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Snapchat ads enjoy warm reception from users, says commissioned study

Snapchat users are reacting positively to the photo messaging app’s new video ads, according to a new survey commissioned by the company. Sixty percent of respondents said they liked the video ads that are integrated into Snapchat’s ‘Our Story’ posts and 44% said they liked ads that featured within ‘Recent Update’ feeds. However, the survey didn’t ask respondents why they preferred one ad type over the other. For the non-17-year-olds out there, Our Stories lets users located at a specific event post snaps into one branded space. According to Millward Brown Digital, who conducted the survey, Snapchat’s ads compare favourably with generic smartphone ads. The researchers conducted a study earlier in the year which claimed 17% of people in the US liked seeing regular mobile

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Smaato sees 140% growth on the back of 2014 mobile programmatic boom

RTB exchange and Sell Side Platform (SSP) Smaato has announced some healthy growth figures for its mobile service, more than doubling the amount of mobile demand side partners (DSPs) to 340 during 2014. As we keep being told, the mobile ad sector is heading toward a programmatic future and 2014 saw a number of players in the market jump on-board with the technology, either launching their own exchanges, or partnering with others. Even Apple’s iAd platform finally got into the game before the year closed. So while impressive, Smaato’s programmatic growth is well in line with expectations. In a statement, Smaato CEO Ragner Kruse took the opportunity to take a cheeky pop at mobile ad offerings from Facebook and Twitter saying: “Big brand advertisers are

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The Top Mobile Ad and App Marketing Trends in 2015

Another year is drawing to a close and it’s about time we contemplate what the next 12 months will hold for the mobile marketing sector. Obviously making predictions on such a young and rapidly developing space isn’t always easy, but we’ve managed to find a range of industry heavy weights willing to opine on what issues will fill this blog’s pages during 2015. In our 2014 round-up of trends, the panel reached a consensus on a few things, namely consolidation among mobile ad companies, which  has certainly panned out. 2014 saw a whole load of acquisitions and mergers in the sector, as bigger players moved in and smaller players banded together. Last year our panel of experts also predicted that mobile native advertising would start

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Facebook rolls-out new reach and frequency features for app install campaigns

Facebook has announced a few new features for its app install ads, including the ability to manage the frequency and reach of campaigns. App advertisers now have the ability to set their app campaigns to reach a specific number of Facebook users and cap the frequency at a specific number of impressions. For instance, a developer could target its app at three million users, and choose to display the ad to each user five times during the campaign. Facebook says this feature will work best with brand awareness campaigns, such as new app launches and new app feature announcements. Facebook’s new reach and frequency dashboard Facebook is also rolling out autoplay on app video advertisements. This means app video ads – like other videos on

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Matomy and MobFox Q&A: Acquisitions, RTB and the mobile ad future

Performance-based marketing company Matomy has been busy over the last few months. The Tel Aviv-based firm recently acquired one of the biggest mobile ad networks in Europe, MobFox, and received a major investment from advertising giant Publicis, before helping MobFox roll-out a new private RTB platform with AirPush. We caught-up with Matomy’s EVP of media Assaf Suprasky and MobFox’s founder and CEO Julian Zehetmayr, to find out more on the acquisition and where the mobile ad market is heading. Q&A: Matomy/Mobfox MobFox CEO Julian Zehetmayr Matomy EVP of media Assaf Suprasky MobyAffiliates: There’s quite a few mobile ad networks out there, so what made MobFox so attractive to Matomy? Assaf Suprasky: Digital advertising is undergoing a period of rapid growth and innovation, and nowhere is

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Mobile native ads deliver higher value app users says Taptica

Mobile users who install apps via native ads have a 35% higher Lifetime Value (LTV) on average compared to users who install apps via full screen interstitial ads, according to new data from Taptica. The user acquisition platform also said that users who click on native ads spend five times more revenue over time compared to users who clicked on a banner ad. Given that Tapitca sells native advertising, via RTB and direct inventory buying, it obviously has a vested interest in promoting the value of the native formats. Nevertheless the data does back-up what many people have been saying about the value of in-content-feed app install ads and provides some further justification as to why everyone from Tumblr to AOL has been rolling out

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Social discovery platform Geenapp secures first round financing

Geenapp has announced it’s secured $250k in a first round of financing that included Telefonica accelerator Wayra and a number of angel investors. The Barcelona-based Geenapp provides a self-serve social discovery platform for apps. Basically, the platform lets popular social media users earn revenue via promoting affiliate links to app store pages. Publishers can sign-up on the Geenapp website, get an affiliate URL, and promote it on their social networks. Publishers can also create their own curated app stores which they can direct traffic to. As Facebook and Twitter have proven, social platforms are a very effective way to drive app installations. Geenapp’s model is an interesting way to piggyback on this and offer another route for advertisers who perhaps can’t afford the ever increasing

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Can Tumblr’s app install ads put pressure on Facebook?

Tumblr has become the latest social platform to take on Facebook in the lucrative world of app install ads, announcing a new native in-content-feed unit sold on a CPI basis. On the surface, the Tumblr Sponsored Apps solution looks pretty standard and follows the formula pioneered by Mark Zuckerberg and Co, with a unit that appears in-between content posts, displaying an image and call-to-install button. Tumblr is also offering a Facebook-style carousel unit that lets you swipe your way through different ads. So what’s Tumblr offering over its rivals (which also include Twitter, AOL and parent company Yahoo!)? Well the blogging platform told TechCrunch its Sponsored Apps function more like regular blog posts than standard ads. How this works is unclear, but we guess it

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Juice Mobile adds Wikia and Grandex to its programmatic direct platform

Juice Mobile has plugged premium publishers Wikia and Grandex into its Nectar programmatic direct platform, the company has announced. Juice says the addition of Wikia and Grandex, as well as several others, increases Nectar’s available mobile inventory by over one billion new impressions. The ad tech firm reckons this makes Nectar the “world’s leading programmatic direct platform for mobile.” Programmatic direct is distinct from the open bidding environment of RTB, in that it focuses on automating direct, guaranteed, ad buys with no auction. While this sounds pretty similar to traditional direct digital ad sales, Juice says programmatic direct offers the best of both worlds – the efficiency and scale of RTB with the visibility and control of direct sales. Juice CEO Neil Sweeney said: “Through

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iAd gets into programmatic with Rubicon Project partnership

It looks like Apple is forging ahead with its iAd revamp by partnering with RTB specialists Rubicon Project, and others, to finally offer programmatic buying. The news appears to have been released prematurely by Rubicon, as the press release announcing the partnership has since been pulled. However, BusinessInsider has fished a cached copy, which says Rubicon, along with “several other” exchanges, has been selected by Apple to power iAds programmatic solution. The deal will open-up iAd to Rubicon’s RTB exchange and – for the first time – let advertisers bid programmatically for inventory on Apple’s network. Advertisers have long been annoyed at Apple’s backwardness when it comes to ad buying and this is one of the reasons iAd has been struggling to gain traction in

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App Promotion Summit 2014 Berlin: Event Preview

Are you involved with app and mobile game development? In or around Berlin this week? Well mark your calendars, as the bi-annual App Promotion Summit is kicking-off  in Berlin on Thursday, November 20. The event, which brings together developers, publishers and some of the best minds in mobile app marketing, is shaping-up to be another huge success, with an awesome line-up of talks covering everything from paid user acquisition to app store optimization, and from video marketing to mobile analytics. If you want to hear the latest tips, techniques and ideas from the world of app promotion, APS is the place to be. Let’s a closer look at what speakers, talks and opportunities attendees can expect from this year’s summit. App Promotion Summit Berlin 2014:

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TapSense sees strong revenue growth on the back of premium mobile RTB

  Mobile ad exchange TapSense has announced a 400% increase in revenue year-on-year for the first three quarters of 2014. The large revenue jump was chiefly attributed to strong demand for TapSense’s private RTB exchange, which the company claims has proven very popular with premium publishers. TapSense’s CEO and co-founder Ash Kumar said: “Our growth has been fueled by mobile publisher adoption of our Private RTB Exchange product. The publisher segment has long been underserved by ad tech companies. Our tools put them back in the driver’s seat when it comes to advertising monetization. With TapSense, they can easily tap into the larger programmatic buying trend and not get left behind.” TapSense’s announcement confirms that premium publishers and big brand advertisers are increasingly getting on-board

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Appnext launches CPI-focused self-serve mobile ad platform

Appnext has launched what it claims to be the first completely self-managed mobile cost-per-install platform, allowing app marketers to place direct CPI bids on specific publisher sources. The Tel-Aviv-based network is hoping to lure the often overlooked small-to-medium-sized app developers, who at the moment have limited options when it comes to platforms that aren’t run by Facebook, Google or Twitter. The Appnext Self-Serve Platform is already serving over five billion app requests per month and recommending relevant apps to 230 million mobile users worldwide, according to the company. Appnext founder Elad Natanson said: “Appnext is enabling app advertisers to get in the driver’s seat and be the ones in direct control over their app distribution. For the first time, mobile advertisers have a self-serve system with

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InMobi boosts geo-location capabilities with Digital Element partnership

InMobi has partnered with geo-location technology provider Digital Element, to deploy the latter’s NetAcuity Edge technology for enhanced ad targeting. The new technology allows InMobi to leverage “accurate and hyperlocal” IP geo-location data, which is also (importantly) “non-invasive,” according to Digital Element. As well as offering geo-enabled ad inventory, the London-based company says it will enrich GPS and geofencing requests “down to postcode level” to help InMobi build a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour. InMobi’s global alliances VP Anne Frisbie said: “Use of consumer geo-intelligence is critical for delivering best in breed mobile marketing for brands and agencies. We are excited to be partnering with Digital Element as one of our data partners for improving our geolocation targeting.” Digital Element’s UK & Ireland VP Charlie

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Matomy boosts mobile business with MobFox acquisition

Performance marketing specialist Matomy has acquired European mobile ad network MobFox, for a total of $17.6 million. The deal will see the Tel Aviv-based Matomy gain a stronger foothold across the mobile advertising sector. MobFox has been steadily building out a robust ad platform since launching in 2010, with its own RTB exchange, native ad products and it’s recently launched native ad mediation platform. All this means Matomy expects 50% of its revenues to come from mobile activity within less than five years. That’s a big jump from the 7% of revenues mobile represented in 2013 and the expected 20% of revenues in 2014. MobFox revenues for 2014 are forecast between $15 million and $17 million. Commenting on the deal, Matomy CEO Ofer Druker explained

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Apple opens up audience retargeting on iAd, but is it too little too late?

Apple has decided to pay a bit more attention to its flagging iAd network with the announcement of audience re-targeting and app deeplinking features. Mobile app advertisers using iAd can now track users across iOS 8 apps and websites, in order to fire more targeted messages in the battle for re-engagement. Following years of cookie-less misery, re-targeting is fast becoming a standard feature of mobile ad networks and was a key theme during the recent App Promotion Summit in London. Apple is no doubt hoping some of that hype will rub off on iAd, which has been underperforming- to put it mildly – since it launched back in 2010. Back then, Steve Jobs predicted iAd would capture 48% of the mobile ad market. Fast forward

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