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The Rubicon Project Releases New Forrester Report on Mobile Advertising

April 24, 2013

Analysis Shows That Automation Can Help Drive Mobile Adoption and Growth

LOS ANGELES — Rubicon Project, which operates the advertising industry’s largest, fastest and easiest-to-use independent real-time trading platform for buying and selling digital ads, today released a Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper, “Selling Mobile: It’s About The Industry, Not Just The Inventory.”

The report found that “although publishers and marketers are still becoming acclimated to the mobile channel today, advanced management such as that offered by an automation platform can help drive mobile advertising toward maturity.”

In addition, Forrester’s new study on mobile advertising yielded these key findings:

  • Publishers are well aware of the importance of mobile to their businesses, but they’re having difficulty monetizing the channel.
  • Understanding mobile is a challenge for publishers, but many are plagued by issues that run much deeper than simply learning a new channel.
  • Lack of expertise on the sell-side and lack of established standards and performance metrics have made media buyers hesitant to put money behind this still-emerging channel.

Three Key Insights on Monetizing Mobile

Commenting on the Forrester report, Frank Addante, the Rubicon Project’s Founder and CEO, says:

“Automation will help drive mobile advertising adoption and growth for years to come, but there are three key insights to keep in mind as the industry tries to figure out how to monetize mobile.

First, you can’t copy and paste what we’ve done in display. You have to rethink things and come up with the right model, right format, right ad pricing units, and right method of buying and selling. It’s about creating something new here.

Second, automation will come to mobile faster than it has in other markets. In financial services, it took 100 years for NASDAQ to emerge; in the travel industry, it took 50 years for Sabre systems to be born; in search, it took 10 years for automation to take hold; and, in display, it took five years. My best estimate is that it will now take just 2.5 years for mobile automation to become mainstream.

Third, mobile is alarming for publishers; their audience is rapidly embracing this platform, but they don’t have the knowledge, data and experience to move in this direction right now. Advertisers, on the other hand, have choices. They can spend money on TV and on the Internet, and mobile is just another category. So, there’s a real disconnect between publishers and advertisers in terms of mobile. We need to rethink the mobile model so it can effectively bridge this gap. And, until we do, we have to face facts – advertisers aren’t going boost their mobile spending in super-significant ways.”

The Benefits of Mobile Automation

The growing importance of mobile today is clear, and sellers and buyers of advertising recognize that as consumer time and attention shift to mobile, their ad dollars must too. And that’s why Forrester forecasts that mobile marketing spend will grow significantly over the next few years, reaching more than $8 billion by 2016.

“Automation offers several core benefits that are helping drive mobile ad spend,” explains Josh Wexler, General Manager of the mobile business at Rubicon Project. “It incorporates third-party data, which enhances customer targeting. It increases transparency and helps establish pricing standards. It offers publishers the opportunity to manage buys across channels more effectively and efficiently. And it reduces manual labor, allowing salespeople to spend more time on the high-touch, high-value relationship-building that generates most revenue.”

The Rubicon Project’s Success With Mobile Automation

Last July, Rubicon Project launched the Mobile Project, which is the best practices solution using the REVV platform to enable publishers to sell mobile ad inventory through both direct and indirect sales channels.

The Mobile Project builds on REVV, Rubicon’s real-time trading platform, so now there’s a single platform and marketplace for the buying and selling of both display and mobile ad inventory.

One of the reasons that the Mobile Project has been so successful – in the last two quarters alone, it’s gained 65 new customers – is the fact that it takes the complexity out of buying and selling mobile advertising.

The Mobile Project, for example, includes the integration of Rubicon’s proprietary mobile ad-server, which automatically delivers impressions across iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices.

“This is how we solve the device-diversity problem, which causes audience fragmentation,” says Rubicon Project’s Wexler. “We also deal with the proliferation of un-cookied iOS devices, which make it harder to capture value from advertising. In addition, we address the management of multiple SDKs, which create unwieldy operational overhead. And we compensate for inconsistent rich media formats, which impede scale and complicate implementation. In the end, customers understand that we’re attacking all the tough issues with our mobile platform.”


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