Curated inventory: 4 buy-side insights from MoPub

April 01, 2020

Tags: 2020, Marketers

Brian Bravo
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Curated inventory helps advertisers efficiently evaluate inventory and test new partnerships by leveraging a single Deal ID to target a subset of inventory that shares common characteristics. From MoPub’s initial batch of inventory packages in 2017 to the more recent launch of 18 new deals in Q4 2019, we’ve seen a number of positive results from our curation efforts. 

We evaluated behavior on our exchange and spoke with a number of constituents across the buying community to understand how curated inventory is being leveraged and how they are working for their advertisers. 4 key insights came to light:

1) Brands want curated inventory: 15% of MoPub revenue is driven by Deal ID.

The clearest signal that curated inventory is driving value is the volume of spend it drives on MoPub’s exchange. According to 2019 MoPub internal data, transactions based on Deal IDs account for 15% of programmatic spend across the exchange, and that number is projected to continue to grow. Beyond the volume, the quantity of inquiries for specific inventory and audience targeting solutions indicate this trend will continue to accelerate.

2) Measurement — and specifically, viewability — is critical for brand buyers.

For buyers focused on increasing awareness and shifting brand perception, ensuring the advertising message has an opportunity to make an impact is critical. In Q4 2019, MoPub updated our curated inventory offering to help brands target our most viewable ad inventory, and there was immediate interest from brand marketers and their demand-side platform (DSP) buying partners.

“Viewability is a table stakes requirement for Fortune 1000 advertisers, and we appreciate the effort MoPub is making to further distribute these measurement tools. MoPub does a good job explaining to app developers that increasing the measurability of in-app inventory in turn makes it more acceptable to brand advertisers." 
–Charlie Springer, Supply Manager, Blis

3) Curating inventory can be a meaningful lever for driving performance. 

On the performance side, inventory exploration and optimization is a necessary, but sometimes costly, part of finding positive return on ad spend (ROAS). MoPub offers pre-filtered pools of inventory that can help accelerate this process. 

One of our more innovative approaches to this involves inventory curation based on the editorial elements of the app stores.

From our perspective, leveraging the app stores as a framework for defining supply quality is extremely useful. Specifically, applying the download data and associated rankings and reviews as a combined proxy signal for overall supply quality introduced a powerful filter that only exists in-app. 

4) Custom app whitelists offer a solution for brand safety.

MoPub’s custom app whitelists are also supported via Deal IDs and offer buyers the ability to curate the inventory at the advertiser level. While our pre-packaged deals solve for the most common use cases and enable faster setup, some campaigns may still require a custom whitelist of apps to meet specific targeting or brand safety parameters. For example, in Q3 and Q4 2019, MoPub created bespoke app whitelists for a number of major CPG advertisers that were activated through designated buying platforms. 

We find that this individual approval process allows many buyers to add mobile in-app to their overall digital buying strategy or to enable an “always-on” evergreen targeting strategy. To learn more about setting up whitelist Deal IDs, please reach out to your MoPub representative.

Curated inventory: What’s next? 

MoPub is full speed ahead on inventory curation. Specifically, we have plans to speed up the development and activation of custom packages for agencies and brand marketers, as well as ongoing partner evaluations that will expand our curation capabilities. 

Update August 2021: Learn how Twitter Audience Index uses Twitter's unique audience insights to create curated app inventory packages for programmatic advertisers.

For our buyers: MoPub continually works to better understand how curated inventory is prioritized in your bidding algorithms and what we can do to better elevate the value of packaging inventory. To learn more about any of the offerings mentioned here, or to suggest new variations, please reach out to your MoPub representative or get in touch with our team.

About the author: Brian Bravo, Lead, Strategic Partnerships

Brian leads MoPub’s partnership efforts for the premier Omnichannel Demand book of business as well as our strategy for supply curation. Brian is a native San Franciscan who, alongside his wife and family, enjoys exploring all the Bay Area has to offer.


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