Millennial Media and MetaResolver: an exciting combination to grow programmatic buying in mobile

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
By: Jim Payne

I was happy to read the news this morning about Millennial’s recent acquisition of MetaResolver , a demand-side platform that we work closely with and a key participant in our real-time bidding exchange, MoPub Marketplace. I was excited not only for our former AdMob colleague Mike Rowehl, who blogged about the deal earlier today , on a successful exit, but also for the possibilities that I think that this deal creates for future opportunities for our companies to work together at an even bigger scale. Let me explain.

At MoPub, we’ve long held the view that the mobile advertising world would quickly move towards exchanges and programmatic buying. We had conviction that more transparency in the mobile advertising world would provide better outcomes for publishers, who could benefit from a single competitive auction for inventory rather than a stacked waterfall. But our vision of a exchange oriented mobile advertising world also benefits advertisers, by giving them the ability to be very fine-grained and targeted about the impressions that they buy. Without demand-side platforms (DSPs), though, this opportunity afforded by programmatic buying is only theoretical. Advertisers need technology to run their bidding strategies – otherwise the benefits are almost impossible to realize. They need companies like MetaResolver helping them by providing this  bidding software and connecting to as much supply as possible. This is how we work with them – they are connected to our exchange.

When Mike called me almost a year ago with his idea for a new mobile DSP, I wholeheartedly encouraged him to connect to our then relatively small exchange to test his theories. He saw that they were promising and kept building. Even at that early time, the concept of mobile RTB was unproven. While it’s only been a short nine months since they launched, MetaResolver’s data-driven and analytics-focused approach is already starting to deliver better results for advertisers. Perhaps more importantly, they are able to deliver the type of campaign performance that was enticing advertisers to come back for increasingly larger purchases. These kind of results are happening across the mobile buy-side ecosystem.

Since then, our mobile exchange has come a long way – we just announced 1.5B ads/day on our platform and 300M uniques per month . We owe a large part of the success of this model to companies like MetaResolver, who are building liquidity on the buy-side thoughtfully and leveraging the power of software to do it. That is why I’m glad to see Millennial Media make this strategic and forward looking acquisition. Millennial has consistently and tirelessly pushed the mobile advertising ecosystem forward through many transition points, and it is great to see them do this again.

I expect that the combination of Millennial’s sales and ad operations teams and their technology platform combined with MetaResolver’s advanced bidding strategies will materialize into a substantial growth driver for the combined company. We are excited to work with them to achieve this goal.

-Jim

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