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Answers Served: Opera Dishes on Mobile Ad Exchange

Written on
Sep 6, 2011 
Author
Gavin Dunaway  |

ADOTAS – Norwegian software developer Opera may be best to the Internet public as the makers of a suite of desktop and mobile browsers, but the company’s offerings for advertisers and publishers run much deeper, especially on the mobile front. Last January, Opera acquired mobile advertising company AdMarvel, which powers its Open Mobile Ad Exchange.

In July, the company introduced the Opera Mobile Audience Network — handing clients analytics on mobile traffic and audience trends — as well as the “bid and ask” system, which allows both advertisers and publishers to name unique prices for inventory based on its real-time value.

Mahi de Silva, executive vice president of consumer mobile, gave us more details about the Open Mobile Ad Exchange and Opera’s new audience intelligence tools.

ADOTAS: What challenges is the mobile advertising ecosystem facing at the moment?

SILVA: Today, publishers, advertisers, carriers and OEMs know very little about their audience of consumers meaning they are faced with the challenge of maximizing the monetization of their properties through targeting advertising. Unlike desktop browsers, mobile browsers have very poor or no cookie support and the most popular interaction medium on smartphones are mobile apps – which have no persistent cookie support at all.

These limitations represent a fundamental paradigm shift for mobile in understanding user browsing habits and tastes and until now the ecosystem has not had the ability to work with fine-grained consumer intelligence and insights for informed, effective ad targeting and enhanced site monetization for publishers.

How does Opera fit into this picture?

In a nutshell, Opera enables mobile developers, publishers and carriers to easily source, provision, manage and track advertising from virtually any ad network or direct-sourced advertising inventory, including inventory from Apple (iAD) and Google. As the leading trusted third party in mobile advertising, Opera works with mobile publishers, developers, carriers, ad networks, agencies and advertisers to optimize advertising inventory and revenue.

What does Opera’s Open Mobile Ad Exchange offer to mobile advertisers and publishers?

Opera’s Open Mobile Ad Exchange aims to create an open marketplace between publishers and advertisers. Publishers get an easy-to-use platform to manage all aspects of advertising and advertisers get access to a broad range of publishers and their consumers from Opera Mini and other mobile browsers.

With the addition of newly-launched Opera Mobile Audience Network and Bid and Ask auction system, the members of the mobile ad ecosystem can now better understand users and also give publishers and advertisers the chance to bid for ad impressions in real time, thus maximizing their ability to reach their respective goals.

What insights will be available moving forward for better mobile ad decisions that has not been available to date?

Moving forward, the Opera Mobile Audience Network provides advertisers with fine-grain analytics and intelligence on mobiles audiences including geography, device, carrier and categories of interest. Other parts of the value chain (e.g. publishers and mobile operators) can add to that information in real-time providing a more complete view of the consumer ranging from demographic to contextual and coarse-grain behavioral information — in an aggregated view and privacy neutral manner.

Customers can benefit by receiving timely measurement of mobile Internet traffic and market intelligence created by trend data collection across more than one hundred million mobile users. Ultimately this will mean much better mobile ad targeting and ability for publishers to monetize mobile properties.

This will also increase the value of the mobile audience to advertisers.  For example, advertisers can now target very specific users, say an Android user pertaining to a particular IAB category of interest based in NYC, which they had trouble doing before.

What is the significance of the Bid and Ask system in regards to real-time bidding?

Real-time ad bidding allows advertisers and publishers to better monetize their mobile audience. Publishers can ask for a specific price for their ad inventory based on the unique real-time value offered by their mobile consumers to advertisers.

Similarly, advertisers can place bids for specific types of mobile traffic. Previously, participants could only express the value of their traffic via a traditional media kit, describing their brand, content category, device and impression volumes. Opera’s Open Mobile Ad Exchange is the first to offer a bid ask auction that matches advertising bidders with publishers in real time, based on audience and price requirements.

Much thanks to Marika Knapp, who helped put together this report.





Gavin Dunaway is Editor, U.S. at AdMonsters, a leading trade publication, event producer and service provider for the online advertising industry. Previously, he had been Senior Editor of Adotas, where he arrived after years of ping-ponging around various industry publications. This Washington, D.C. native and George Mason University graduate also enjoys playing electric guitar so loud that the walls shake.

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