Mobile demand side platforms (DSPs) are the services that allow mobile advertisers to buy inventory across a variety of ad exchanges, networks and publishers. They are usually used with real-time bidding or programmatic trading, but this isn’t always the case.
Mobile advertisers can buy impressions across a range of publisher sites, but targeted to specific users based on information such as their location and their previous browsing behaviour. Publishers make their ad impressions available through marketplaces called ad exchanges, and mobile DSPs automatically decide which of those impressions is the best option for the advertiser.
Normally the price of these ad impressions is determined by a real-time auction, otherwise know as real-time bidding (RTB). It’s here that impressions are auctioned off to the highest bidder. In addition to this, the whole process takes milliseconds.
The value of a mobile demand side platform (DSP) lies in its transparency. Mobile DSPs allow you to buy mobile ad inventory, across a range of publishers, through a single platform. You can see the market rate for every impression you buy, control which exchanges you want to buy across and how much you want to bid. Not only that, mobile DSPs use data from publishers, advertisers, ad tech companies and third-parties to make media buying more efficient and match ads to audiences, in real-time.
UK mobile ad spend is set to grow 35%, in 2016. That’s a whopping 27% of all UK media ad spend, topping the country’s TV ad spend for the first time. As mobile continues to gain momentum, advertisers face the challenge of ensuring the best possible return from their mobile ad campaigns.
Mobile DSPs are designed to tackle the many challenges of mobile advertising, including targeting and the need for a positive user experience. Recent advances in technology mean that mobile DSPs can now track models, operating systems, screen size, location and more. The past year has seen a huge shift towards mobile programmatic buying, as advertisers begin to reap the rewards of sophisticated targeting and measurement capabilities.
How to choose a mobile DSP
Not sure where to start? When choosing a mobile DSP there are some key questions to consider: how many inventory sources does it access? Does that include app and mobile web inventory? A larger reach gives you the best chance of finding the most effective impressions. Which third-party data integrations does it offer? What targeting criteria is available? The success of programmatic campaigns depend largely on the strength of data available to target audiences. Finally, how sophisticated are its algorithms? The most effective automatic optimisation will win the most bids at the most competitive prices.
To help you make your decision check out our list of the top mobile DSPs for 2017 and their best features
The full list of Mobile DSPs:
- StrikeAd by Sizmek
- Consumer Acquisition
- Avazu Mobile DSP
- Kwanko Mobile
- MobFox DSP by Matomy
StrikeAd is a programmatic mobile advertising platform founded in 2010. Acquired by Sizmek in 2015, StrikeAd’s dedicated mobile DSP was integrated into the Sizmek MDX Platform, enabling advertisers to accelerate growth through programmatic and premium publisher relationships.
StrikeAd offers both a fully-managed or self-service solution for running campaigns and its Fusion platform allows media planning and buying agencies to set up private marketplace strategies alongside open exchange buys for optimal campaign performance.
- Key features: Programmatic buying & creative, advanced targeting, private marketplaces (PMP), it covers mobile, video and display channels.
- Tagline: Impressions That Inspire.
StrikeAd: The Movie (5 min edit).
Fiksu is a mobile marketing technology company, founded in 2008. The Boston-based firm, with offices in London, New York and San Francisco, that connects brands, agencies and app advertisers to targeted mobile audiences.
Fiksu DSP consists of four companies under the common umbrella – Fiksu DSP, Meed, Attriboost and Fiksu Media Group, all 4 are highly connected that allows to take full advantage of the 4.1 billion mobile device profiles database, including up to 90% all iOS and Android devices combined ever sold in US. This database powers 250+ lookalike profiles dataset to provide high precision targeting.
- Key features: Sophisticated targeting options, programmatic buying, and premium inventory.
- Tagline: Data-fuelled mobile marketing.
Fiksu’s Chief Strategy Officer, Craig Palli, talks about the future of mobile.
AppLift is a data-driven technology company that empowers mobile app advertisers to acquire and re-engage quality users at scale. Headquartered in Berlin, AppLift acquired mobile DSP Bidstalk in 2015.
Having integrated Bidstalk’s technology, AppLift’s mobile media buying platform DataLift360 now provides access to over 30 programmatic mobile display, video and native SSPs and exchanges, and other supply sources through its self-service platform. Datalift’s technology utilises first and third-party data to optimize media buys, while real-time analytics let you measure and optimize campaign performance.
- Key features: Programmatic buying and data integration.
- Tagline: Data-driven app marketing.
AppLift Selfie Video: Berlin’s mobile advertising & marketing technology platform
PocketMath is the world’s fastest self-serve mobile advertising platform for buying programmatic real-time bidding inventory, launched in 2011. Headquartered in Austin, US, PocketMath has offices around the world including a burgeoning presence in China and Japan.
PocketMath’s programmatic buying system bids on impressions based on targeting parameters. The company’s mobile DSP offers extensive targeting options including location, device, cherry-pick apps, wifi/carrier, and time of day scheduling.
- Key features: Media buying transparency, programmatic buying, leading mobile ad formats support, advanced targeting and global reach.
- Tagline: The World’s Fastest Self-Serve Mobile Advertising Platform.
Pocketmath Product Video
Consumer Acquisition is a social advertising technology company with fully managed services. Founded in 2013, by Brian Bowman, the company offers its self-service ad management software, AdRules™, for optimising and managing social ad campaigns.
AdRules™ is designed specifically for mobile app advertising and lead generation on Facebook and Instagram. It helps brands, direct response advertisers and agencies achieve performance at scale with social advertising. The platform’s features include advanced reporting, bulk creation tools, A/B testing, and ad building in Facebook Power Editor.
- Key features: No SDK required, social advertising and advanced analytics.
- Tagline: Facebook and Instagram User Acquisition and Creative Marketplace
Consumer Acquisition – Free Advanced Reporting
Liftoff is a mobile app marketing and re-targeting platform, founded in 2012. The company’s CPA-optimised platform enables marketers to run ad campaigns focussed on finding users who will make meaningful actions beyond the install. For advertisers without an app, Liftoff offers app-to-web advertising campaigns.
Liftoff taps into a database of over 2 billion mobile user profiles to find your most engaged users. Cortex optimises your campaigns by determining the best performing user profiles and inventory sources for your app to scale installs. Once your target CPI has been reached, campaigns are optimised and switched to a CPA payout model.
- Key features: Mobile acquisition, CPA model, and user-based targeting.
- Tagline: Mobile app marketing and re-targeting.
Video on mobile CPA marketing with Liftoff.io.
Avazu Mobile DSP
Avazu Mobile DSP is a leading advertising platform founded in 2009, by Yi Shi. Avazu Mobile DSP is a self-serve mobile advertising platform, connected to over 20 ad exchanges, for global reach.
The platform uses real-time bidding and real-time reporting to maximise revenues for advertisers and offers a white label mobile DSP solution for agencies. There are also plenty of targeting options including location, device, network speed, and in-app versus web.
- Key features: Programmatic buying, real-time reporting and 100% self-service.
- Tagline: A self-serve mobile advertising platform.
Avazu Mobile DSP video.
Smaato is a global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers. Founded in 2005, Smaato runs the world’s largest independent mobile ad exchange.
The company’s platform allows advertisers to plug in to Smaato’s RTB ad exchange, providing access to quality inventory from over 90,000 publishers worldwide. Real-time bidding functionality improves the efficiency of your ad campaigns, and you can adjust budgets and advertising media based on your targeting criteria.
- Key features: Real-time bidding, targeting precision, sophisticated reporting and global reach.
- Tagline: The Leading Global Real-Time Advertising Platform for Mobile Publishers & App Developers
Mobusi is Madrid, Spain based technology media company that provides app marketers with an advertising platform. It was founded in 2012 and since has opened offices in Mexico and US as well. Mobusi’s demand-side platform provides access to a wide range of ad exchanges, actionable insight and ability to act upon it in real time.
- Key features: CPI model focused, provides proprietary Playable Ads, brand and influencer endorsement based ad solution
- Tagline: Monetize your app or mobile web with us.
Mobusi mobile advertising network
Kimia (from Arabic Al-Kimia – the alleged ability to turn common metals into gold) is a mobile CPA performance network, founded by Karel de Beule in Madrid, Spain in 2006. It provides a self-service demand-side platform for media buyers and CPM advertisers, it is meant for marketers to improve their ROI across both mobile and desktop platforms.
- Key features: no 3rd party server required, niche verticals, Geo, carrier and device targeting, sophisticated fraud detection system
- Tagline: Buy, Optimize and Scale.
Kimia premium online advertising provider
Headway is a Madrid, Spain based mobile marketing company backed up by a strong technical expertise, founded in 2010. In 2014 it launched MoBrain – a turnkey DSP solution that provides mobile advertisers in US, Europe and Asia native ad format for both desktop and mobile, as well as in-stream video ads.
- Key features: native ads, RTB, programmatic, Facebook Exchange, Retargeting
- Tagline: Marketing Powered by Technology
Native Content with Video by Headway Digital
Kwanko Mobile is a demand-side platform by Kwanko, the leading European cross-device advertising network. It provides mobile advertisers with an access to the key ad networks, it’s capable to deliver more than 5 billion impressions monthly.
- Key features: Real-time Reports, statistics and ROI analytics (e-CPC, CTR, e-CPM, CVR, CPA)
- Tagline: Advertisers, Boost The Performance Of Your Mobile Campaigns
Get Ready, Advertise, Perform with Kwanko
Trademob is a leading international platform for programmatic mobile app advertising, founded in 2010. The Berlin-based company specialises in user acquisition, retention, and re-targeting using real-time bidding technology and its own DSP.
Trademob’s platform is connected to hundreds of SSPs, ad networks, RTB exchanges, and media partners with access to over 1 billion users worldwide. The demand-side platform facilitates re-targeting through real-time bidding to reach inactive users at a more cost-effective rate.
- Key features: Re-targeting through real-time bidding.
- Tagline: Your platform for mobile app advertising.
Trademob presentation: fostering success with mobile RTB and accurate tracking.
Taptica is a mobile advertising technology company, founded in 2012. The company’s mobile demand-side platform provides data-driven solutions for mobile video and social advertising.
Taptica’s technology offers a Data Management Platform (DMP) and demand-side platform (DSP), using big data for advanced audience targeting. And, advertisers can maximise engagement and revenue through mobile re-targeting on a CPA basis. Taptica works with over 450 advertisers including Amazon, Disney and Expedia to name just a few.
- Key features: Programmatic buying, data-driven, and advanced targeting.
- Tagline: We not only run, we drive data.
Introduction to Taptica video.
Bidsopt is a leading mobile DSP, founded in 2014 and headquartered in India. The company’s programmatic buying platform for mobile enables advertisers to reach the right audience using advanced targeting and performance optimisation.
The self-serve platform gives you control of your campaigns while Bidsopt offers technical support 24/7, should you need it. There are plenty of targeting options including geography, time of day, device, wifi/carrier; and you can blacklist or whitelist apps or sites from any exchanges.
- Key features: Programmatic buying, advanced targeting, self-serve platform with technical support.
- Tagline: Programmatic Buying Platform For Mobile.
Bidsopt presentation: Mobile DSP for Native and Rich Media Ads.
Jampp is an app marketing and re-engagement platform, founded in 2011. Jampp works on a cost per install (CPI) basis, optimising your campaigns for volume and quality conversion.
The platform aggregates over 150 ad networks, RTB exchanges and publishers and uses big data to optimise your campaigns in real-time. Jampp’s technology combines targeting metrics including device, operating system, language, and engagement; and measures success by every conversion, sale or engagement achieved post-install.
- Key features: Cost-Per-Action focused, sophisticated app publishers performance stats,
- Tagline: Where others see problems, we see technological challenges.
Joana Picq at Jampp presents: Leveraging RTB to promote mobile apps.
Yeahmobi is a performance-based mobile advertising network and platform, founded in 2009 and focussed on user acquisition and monetisation for mobile apps globally.
Yeahmobi’s demand-side platform (DSP) helps advertisers control and optimise their campaigns, and drive the best ad placement value through programmatic buying. Integrated with top ad exchanges including Smaato, Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Mopub; the DSP utilises real-time bidding to target the best demographic for your product.
- Key features: Programmatic buying, behavioural tracking, and flexible pricing model.
- Tagline: Data Driven Mobile Advertising.
Yeahmobi slideshare: the leading mobile performance marketing platform.
AdGoji is an ad tech agency, founded in 2012 and based in Amsterdam. Specialising in mobile in-app advertising optimisation, AdGoji’s demand-side Platform (DSP) uses real-time bidding to programmatically buy in-app ad space and deliver engaged customers.
AdGoji’s DSP gives you access to high quality inventory from thousands of apps in over 100 countries, and optimisation options include clicks (CTR), installs (CPI), acquisitions (CPA), and retargeting.
- Key features: Mobile in-app advertising and programmatic buying.
- Tagline: Your Gateway To Mobile Performance.
Go2Mobi is a leading mobile advertising platform with access to mobile ad inventory on over 200,000 apps and mobile websites. Founded by Tom Desaulniers and Gavin Aitken, in 2011, Go2Mobi’s DMP boasts advanced audience targeting technology, using mobile-originated data to create and define consumer personas.
Go2Mobi’s programmatic mobile DSP provides advertisers with targeting, reporting and optimisation controls for the best ad performance. Ad Placement is 100% transparent, third-party data is integrated, and features include GPS, carrier/wifi, and device targeting and frequency capping.
- Key features: Programmatic buying, advanced targeting and total transparency.
- Tagline: Advertising in The Mobile Moment.
Introduction to Go2Mobi – The Mobile Audience Targeting Platform.
The Gimbal’s all-in-one mobile DSP AdCast™ enables advertisers to choose from premium inventory sources, buy ads in real-time, and fully integrate with the company’s other products to target, optimize and track data. The platform also boasts a data processing speed five times faster than the average mobile DSP.
- Key features: location based marketing, geofencing, beacons
- Tagline: We’re here to stop the industry from eating itself.
Video by The Mobile Majority: Mobile Viewability Explained.
Splicky is a mobile demand side platform, founded in 2012, which offers a simple way to buy ad impressions from global mobile inventory using real-time bidding (RTB) technology.
Splicky’s DSP takes into account multiple targeting parameters to only bid on impressions which match your requirements. The self-service platform offers real-time analytics, performance transparency, and advanced targeting options including location, carrier/wifi, audience, app name and device.
- Key features: Programmatic buying, self-service platform and advanced targeting.
- Tagline: Smooth way of programmatic advertising
Video introduction to the Splicky platform.
Adelphic is a mobile and cross-device demand side platform with global reach. Founded in 2011, by Jennifer Lum and Changfeng Wang, Adelphic helps maximise mobile advertising investment through programmatic advertising.
The company’s patented technology recognises the consumer behind the device and assigns an ‘a-tag’ identifier, attaching dozens of targeting factors to each ad opportunity in real-time. The self-service platform includes a full set of campaign management tools; enabling users to plan, create, optimise and analyse their campaigns.
- Key features: Advanced targeting, first and third-party data.
- Tagline: Your audience moves in real time. So we do.
Adelphic’s Jennifer Lum shares key insights for programmatic video.
Appnext is a leading monetisation and app distribution platform, founded in 2012. Its self-serve mobile DSP operates on a cost-per-install (CPI) bidding basis, allowing advertisers to reach the right customers and buy directly from the top performing publishers.
Appnext lets you run local and global campaigns in over 230 countries. The advanced reporting tools give you a clear view of your bids, placements and revenue.
- Key features: Self-serve platform, CPI model, and global reach.
- Tagline: Helping people experience apps at the right moments throughout the day
Appnext Timeline – Mobile in Contex
MobFox DSP by Matomy
MobFox DSP is part of Matomy Media Group, a leading performance advertising company with headquarters in Tel Aviv. Matomy helps publishers and advertisers drive results from a variety of media channels and offers global coverage.Using MobFox DSP, advertisers can buy media from MobFox SSP (with no bid fees) and access over 40,000 publishers. The real-time micro bidding tools allow you to set separate bids on each creative including video, native and banner ads.
- Key features: Real-time micro bidding, advanced tracking and no bid fees.
- Tagline: Achieve massive reach and results from your DSP.
Matomy Media Group: Game Changing Results in Mobile Advertising.
Every demand side platform is different and it’s not unusual for brands and marketers to use several to meet their needs. We hope this guide helps make your choices clearer. Think there’s a mobile DSP we’ve missed? Find out how to get listed.