Author: Christopher Reynolds

Appsfire launches Chirashi carousel ad unit and new mediation platform

Appsfire has taken another step in its transformation into a full-featured ad platform with the roll-out of another native ad format and a new ad mediation feature in its latest SDK. The Chirashi unit is a modification of Appsfire’s Sashimi in-content feed units, allowing users to swipe-through a series of ads. As Facebook has shown, the carousel app install unit is popular with users who – perhaps surprisingly – are more than willing to browse thier way through app ads. The Chirashi format is also customisable, allowing publishers to tweak the transition animations, or even build something entirely new around its open code. Appsfire’s Chirashi format in action In a blog post, Appsfire’s product manager Axel Le Pennec said: Thanks to our Sashimi ads, our modular in-stream

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Publicis sees bright future in mobile performance, picks-up 24% stake in Matomy

Publicis has agreed to acquire up to 24.9% of Matomy, becoming the digital performance ad company’s biggest shareholder in a deal worth potentially £51 million. Publicis’ investment represents further evidence of the growing mainstream acceptance of mobile performance advertising, with Matomy saying the agreement is “significant endorsement” of its business model. In a statement, the two companies said they aim to build a strategic alliance to become the leader in the performance space, accelerating Matomy’s continuing global expansion. This also means big opportunities for the Tel Aviv-based Matomy, which says Publicis’ big brand clients will soon increasingly turn to performance-based, and indeed mobile-based, advertising solutions, if they haven’t already. Matomy’s chairman Ilan Shiloah said: “We are seeing an impressive transformation in the digital advertising industry,

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Facebook opens up FAN but keeps it separate from Atlas

Facebook has opened-up its Audience Network to all advertisers and publishers, just days after it announced its re-launched Atlas ad network, but the two platforms will be kept separate. Facebook announced FAN back in April but it was limited to select partners. The network is basically an extension of Facebook’s highly successful app install ads.  Now when running an app install campaign advertisers can select whether or not they wants their ads to appear on third party apps, as well as on Facebook’s own mobile and desktop properties. App advertisers had been clamouring for more inventory for their Facebook campaigns and now FAN will aim to provide this. Facebook says developers can now benefit from more than 1.5 million active advertisers on its network. The

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Appboy raises $15m in funding round, announces 210% subs growth

App marketing automation firm Appboy has raised $15 million in a series B funding round and has announced a 210% growth in sign-ups since the beginning of the year. As with Flurry – which was recently bought by Yahoo -, the New York-based Appboy focuses on helping app publishers retain and engage users, offering features like in-app, push and email messaging, location targeting, and user segmentation. The company, which launched in 2011, managed to raise $7.6 million in funding last year and counts publishers such as Urban Outfitters, GSN and Pic Stitch among its users. Appboy latest round of funding was led by InterWest Partners, which was the initial investor in marketing automation company Marketo. The company says the money will be used to further

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AdMobix launches Yocto DSP and $11m advertiser fund

AdMobix has launched Yocto, a new mobile Demand Side Platform (DSP), along with an $11 million fund for advertisers to try it out. AdMobix says its new DSP offers programmatic bidding, sophisticated AI algorithms, advance targeting, brand safety, real time granular reporting and “complete transparency,” among other features. The announcement comes as the mobile RTB sector was shook-up by Millennial’s recent acquisition of Nexage for $107.5 million in cash. AdMobix’s new platform joins an increasingly busy market, with the likes of Avazu, jampp, StrikeAd, Mobusi and more offering programmatic solutions. Many see RTB as the future of mobile ad buying (although some are bucking this trend). AdMobix’s chief product officer Chad Lavallee said: “Yocto is, at its heart, a Demand Side Platform with many features

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Upsight responds to neutrality concerns, offloads PlayHaven

Mobile analytics platform Upsight has sold-off its PlayHaven mobile game ad network to digital media company Science Inc. You may remember a few months back PlayHaven merged with the user tracking company Kontagent to form the newly-branded Upsight, which now focuses on app analytics and providing ways to engage users based on behavioural data. The merger was seen as yet another signs of the consolidation within the app analytics niche. However, as we reported back in Spring, some in the industry saw potential issues with bringing together analytics and monetisation services under a single umbrella. Adjust’s CEO Christian Henschel in particular told us that conflicts of interest could arise, adding that analytics should be “the Switzerland” within the mobile ad ecosystem. Well it now seems

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Kiip’s new incentivsed video ad format attracting big studios

Mobile ad platform Kiip has rolled-out its new incentivized video ad format, which gives users rewards for views. Mobile video ads are nothing new of course, there’s already dedicated players like AdColony focusing on the format, but video is expected to do big things for mobile and an increasing number of networks are jumping into the fray (NativeX announced its own ‘native’ video format last week). It’s therefore not surprising that Kiip, which focuses entirely on reward-based ads, has already signed-up some big name advertisers. Network AMC, McDonalds, and the studios behind big movies such as ‘Wolf of Wall St,’ are all getting on-board. The presence of major brands on Kiip’s network is interesting, as it not only further validates mobile video ads, but might

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Millennial looks to strengthen its RTB offerings with Nexage acquisition

Millennial Media has announced its acquired mobile RTB platform Nexage for $107.5 million in cash and stock. Compared to the raft of mobile analytics deals we’ve seen recently, there’s not been a whole lot of activity around RTB platforms since Twitter picked-up MoPub late last year. But it was only a matter of time before a big ad network made another move. The only question was who was going to be bought-up next (there’s not too many dedicated players left). Millennial has already launched its own RTB joint venture with AppNexus, so it will be interesting to how Nexage will fit into the mix. Nexage has certainly been on a high recently, releasing a bunch of positive numbers regarding its private exchanges – which offer

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NativeX says it’s “redefining native” with its new mobile video ads

NativeX has announced a new mobile video ad format designed for game publishers called Lightning Play, which it says is redefining mobile native ads. NativeX, an ad network that focuses purely on games and native formats, says its new video ads are based on its own proprietary tech, which enables instant playback of HD videos. There’s also an incentivised element, allowing publishers to reward viewers for their attention, or for installs (though this is optional). Obviously there’s already plenty of networks out there offering video ads – some of which are dedicated to the format such as AdColony – so we asked NativeX what’s going to make their product stand-out? Senior marketing manager Jasmine Mayo told us it’s all about providing a range of solutions

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App Annie announces Facebook support for its free Ad Analytics platform

App Annie has rolled-out support for Facebook on its Advertising Analytics platform, allowing app publishers to track app install metrics such as CTRs, conversion rates and installs. The social network will join the roster of 27 other mobile ad networks that plug into App Annie’s free tool, giving publishers a handy overview of how their apps are performing. Facebook’s success in the user acquisition space is well-documented, and the company already partners with rival analytics platforms such as adjust and Apsalar among others, so the announcement is certainly a welcome one for App Annie users. App Annie Advertising Analytics Ad Network Integrations However, App Annie will also need to ensure it’s house is in order as Facebook has proven rather stringent when it comes to

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KissMyAds renews partnership with HasOffers, announces deeper integration

Mobile ad network KissMyAds has renewed its partnership with HasOffers and has announced deeper integration with HasOffers’ attribution analytics platform. KissMyAds’ publishers will now have access to better targeting features and more mobile inventory. The performance network also says clients will be provided with “advanced training” so they get the most out of the new features. Marc Ahr, CEO of KissMyAds, said: “I’m excited to continue the successful partnership we established in 2011. We partnered with HasOffers by TUNE because they are the leading provider of mobile and attribution analytical technology in the market, and it is important for us to constantly deliver optimum service levels to our customers.” HasOffers GM Cameron Steward added: “We have been working with the KissMyAds team since they started

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Tapdaq: Indie devs are being “left behind” by app marketing companies

It’s no secret that user acquisition costs are continuing to rise, making it ever more difficult for the thousands of smaller, indie, developers out there to get their app noticed and downloaded. Enter London-based Tapdaq, which just recently closed a $1.4m funding round. Tapdaq is a marketing platform that’s hoping to alleviate the above problem by building a community of indie developers who use virtual currency to trade ad inventory between each other. Unlike similar cross-promo platforms such as Chartboost and Appflood, Tapdaq eventually plans to work on a freemium model by giving developers the option to buy virtual currency with real cash, as well as earning currency by generating installs for other devs (at the moment the option to buy currency has not rolled-out).

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Adjust secures $7.6m in funding, plans US/Japan expansion

Mobile analytics firm adjust has raised $7.6 million in series C funding and says it plans to spend the money by executing a rapid expansion into the US, Japanese and Chinese markets. The Berlin-based company said 40% of its total revenue currently comes from Asia and the US and the establishment of regional offices in these territories will help it “springboard” off its existing market share. Adjust has also announced it’s poached Shawn Bonham from app marketing firm Upsight to head-up the expansion into Asia. The two companies recently announced a partnership, which will let users combine adjust’s attribution analytics with Upsight’s enterprise-level analytics to optimise marketing efforts. Discussing the investment, Adjust founder Christian Henschel said: “An investor partnership is all about carefully choosing the

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Nexage’s ad marketplace boosting app dev revenues by 165%, report claims

Developers using Nexage’s mobile ad marketplace have seen revenue grow by 165% during 2014, double the current market growth of mobile ads, according to Nexage’s latest Mobile Insights Report. The Boston-based company claims the revenue growth was driven by a variety of factors. More developers are supporting location-based ad campaigns, which are seeing much higher competition in terms of ad bids. Brands are also beginning to spend on mobile as the space matures and more “well-lit brand safe” inventory appears. Nexage shows off its developer’s revenue growth Nexage adds that rich media, video and native formats are also pushing revenues forward, with eCPMs jumping 55% during the year. In its report, Nexage’s said: Rich media, video, interstitial and native formats have been attracting a lot

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P2p mobile ad exchange Tapdaq closes $1.4m seed round

Peer-to-peer mobile ad network, Tapdaq, has secured $1.4 million in funding and added former Admob EMEA head Russel Buckley as its new chairman. The London-based company is attempting to spearhead the problem of ever rising CPIs, which is pushing smaller indie devs out of the game. It’s solution is to offer a p2p community-driven method of delivering users, where developers use a virtual currency called “daq” to trade traffic. It’s no surprise Tapdaq has begun to get traction. Other network such as Appflood and Chartboost offer cross exchange platforms, which also let developers trade users for free (we actually quizzed Chartboost CEO Marie Alegre about rising CPIs in our recent Q&A), but Tapdaq is making a concerted effort to target indie devs, asking them to

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Tune Q&A: Ian Sefferman talks unpaid user acquisition and MobileDevHQ buyout

Tune is the recently rebranded company that runs HasOffers and Mobile App Tracking, two tools that help people create their own ad networks and measure their mobile marketing performance. Last month the Seattle-based firm decided to expand into App Store Optimization and unpaid user acquisition with the buyout of MobileDevHQ. We caught up with MobileDevHQ’s founder – and now Tune’s head of inbound – Ian Sefferman to find out more on the strategy behind his company’s acquisition. Tune Q&A:  Unpaid user acquisition and MobileDevHQ buyout Ian Sefferman, head of inbound, Tune Why branch out into ASO and unpaid acquisition, is this something Tune’s existing customer base was calling for? Yes. App marketers are continually bemoaning having multiple dashboards for different channels and stages of the

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Google rolls-out new app install ad units across search and YouTube

Google has officially launched its Google Search and YouTube app install ads and app re-engagement ads, after unveiling them a few months back. The new Google Search ad units let developers target users across device types based on the same AdWords set-up used in regular search ads. Android advertisers also have the benefit of tracking conversions automatically in AdWords, while iOS apps have to set tracking-up manually. The units themselves are automatically generated using an app’s icon and also link to reviews on  the App Store and Google Play. Google’s app install search ads Deep linking is an important part of app re-engagement and so it’s no surprise to see Google including the feature in its new ad products, letting advertisers link directly into specific pages

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Chartboost CEO Maria Alegre talks emerging markets and rising UA costs

When it comes to mobile game marketing San Francisco-based Chartboost has been one of the sector’s major success stories. The company, which claims to now be the largest revenue platform for mobile games, helped pioneer the idea of direct cross-promotion, which lets game publishers strike deals with each other in order to acquire users for free (for more info on how cross promotion works check out our guide right here). Chartboost is now taking its platform and expertise into China – one of the fastest growing  app markets on the planet – via a partnership with Chinese mobile ad tech company Chukong. We exchanged a few questions with CEO Maria Alegre to find out more on the Chukong partnership and Chartboost’s plans for other emerging

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Fiksu Q&A: Future acquisition plans, incentivized downloads and record revenues

Fiksu is riding high at the moment. The Boston-based app marketing company recently released a bunch of impressive milestone stats, announcing it’s generated more than $100 million in annual revenues and driven three billion app downloads and counting. Futhermore, in under four years the company has expanded to seven territories worldwide and 260 employees, with plans to bump that up to 300 over the next six months. We caught-up with chief strategy officer Craig Palli to find out more on the secrets to Fiksu’s success and where the company is heading in the near term. Read on for  some of the highlights of our Q&A. Fiksu on… Mobile ad sector acquisitions… The mobile ad sector has seen a lot of consolidating over the last six

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Tapjoy looks eastward with 5Rocks acquisition, combines monetisation with analytics

Mobile monetisation platform TapJoy has picked-up Korean analytics and marketing automation company 5Rocks. TapJoy, which is probably best known for its incentivised ad service, will use 5Rocks’ technology to help users of its nGen monetisation platform identify user groups, such those who are engaged, high-value, or at risk. This is the first acquisition TapJoy has made – to our knowledge – since it acquired the Viximo team back in 2012. It’s interesting that the company has gone all the way to Korea to pick-up an analytics platform, but given that the region has the most valuable free-to-play users in the world it certainly makes sense. TapJoy CEO Steve Wadsworth said: “The acquisition of 5Rocks is a transformative moment for Tapjoy, as the combined platforms allow

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