Are DSPs the beginning of the sunset for mobile ad networks?

This is an interesting one as the total value on a DSP is very dependant on the amount of inventory sources plugged into the DSP. In the case of DataXu, if they only have some of the network inventory available to view via their platform, the media buyer only has a limited view on where they can spend their money. Should be interesting to see how these guys and a few others coming at the DSP market from the mobile angle, fair in the future…..

Online ad exchange DataXu has made its demand-side platform DX2 available to mobile advertisers, claiming it eliminates the need for ad networks altogether.

DX2 measures, buys and optimizes ad placements across online, video and mobile display channels, on a real-time, impression-by-impression basis. The platform currently makes over one million media decisions a second, delivering consumer insights and media control.

“Agencies are really interested in demand-side platforms because they can decide whether they want to buy the impression and for how much,” said Mike Baker, president/CEO of DataXu, Boston. “This means more choice for the buyer.”

DataXu claims DX2 redefines the DSP market, giving brands the power they need to manage all their media investments and effectively engage consumers.

The platform gives advertisers multichannel campaign management tools. Advertisers get access to more than 100 billion auction media impressions across online display, mobile and video channels.

In addition to current supply partners, the platform is integrated with Nexage and Mobclix for mobile inventory and and BrightRoll for video inventory.

Mobile and video beta programs will run through the fourth quarter of 2010.

Brands can choose from four levels of brand safety using semantic analysis at the page level, set global reach and frequency controls, measure campaign impact on upper funnel metrics including awareness, favorability and purchase intent, and deploy rich media assets across the exchanges.

Advertisers can specify content at the page level and target consumers at the individual user level, including age, gender and location, across the entire Internet.

“The big news is WPP is the world’s largest media buyer and its mobile unit Joule is now using this technology,” Mr. Baker said.

GroupM’s mobile unit, Joule, will lead the initiative, which will be integrated with the agency’s new B3 Mobile platform developed by WPP’s Media Innovation Group to further the company’s efforts to collect cross-platform data and insights (see story).

Demand-side platforms give media buyers a platform providing visibility into ad inventory, letting them optimize campaigns on a real-time basis and buy into real-time inventory cross-publisher.

In some ways it is an evolution of an ad network model.

“What is interesting is buyers are starting to wonder whether they need an ad network at all,” Mr. Baker said. “As a buyer I would like to know what I am buying and what it is worth to me rather than take the ad network’s word for it.

“DX2 lets advertisers cut through the middlemen,” he said. “Buyers buy direct from the publisher and we give transparency on where the ads run.

“It is about the buyer controlling the investment rather than the seller.”

DSPs are new to mobile, but there are variances of them in other channels—they are huge in the online space, and this is a fairly significant shift in the mobile advertising world.

Unlike existing mobile advertising platforms that optimize primarily on click-throughs, DX2 provides advertisers with the ability to control media investments based on downstream consumer activity on mobile applications and across branded mobile sites.

The DSP also enables agencies and brands to manage mobile buys more directly and allocate investments more efficiently.

“Why isn’t mobile advertising bigger?” Mr. Baker said. “The answer is the analytics are not very good.



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