Exploring Seattle and Mobile Programmatic Opportunities (In That Order)

By OpenX in Mobile|August 10, 2017

Last week we hosted our first Mobile App Summit in Seattle, bringing together our closest app publishers and experts in mobile programmatic advertising. Let’s just say Seattle looked happy to see us, with clear skies and sunshine throughout the entire event.

In the lead-up to Casual Connect, we wanted to take a moment to discuss mobile without the hustle and bustle of a large conference. That meant no hotel meeting rooms and, most importantly, no powerpoint slides! Just one day together out in beautiful Washington exploring nature, sharing experiences and cultivating out-of-box possibilities! Confession, we did have portable whiteboards. Let’s admit it, this is programmatic and we’re all a bunch of suckers for a good whiteboarding session.

We started the day with a quick seaplane ride to Orcas Island, where we spent the day kayaking and enjoying a fresh farm-to-table lunch. After a few hours of disconnected, screen-less relaxation we were ready to fly back to Seattle to dive into mobile programmatic thought-starters. During the discussion-driven dinner we wanted to leave trends aside and examine the growth opportunities at our fingertips (literally). Topics that came up included: applying the principles of header bidding to mobile-app, defining ad quality for mobile app and exploring emerging ad formats.

First up was header bidding, not in application but in principle. The core principles of header bidding are equal-access to inventory, increased competition, and dynamic pricing for all impressions. This was a particularly fascinating discussion given the fact that mobile app is still predominantly dependent on network demand. One thing is clear: everyone wants to disrupt the waterfall and the winning exchange partners will be those that are able to compete within the strict speed requirements of a mobile app environment. Also, it became clear that you can’t talk mobile-app header bidding without talking mediation. Mobile-app publishers are looking for more control with simple and neutral mediation. “I want to send my impression out to all quality demand sources at the same time and I want the highest to serve,” was the sentiment shared by all at the event.

The conversation then switched gears to quality; protecting app consumers through superior control and security is a must. The mobile app space is plagued by bad ads and auto redirects that are fast at evolving and evading filters, making robust and streamlined ad quality tools a must-have for mobile app publishers. Publishers highlighted the need for ad quality controls built specifically for mobile app, rather than taking web controls and applying them to app.

Let’s admit it, this is programmatic and we’re all a bunch of suckers for a good whiteboarding session.

The most creative discussion was around ad formats. From time-based ads to a real-time content management system, there was no shortage of fascinating avenues for exploration. An interesting point that came up was the idea that the success of a new ad format is often directly correlated with the user’s familiarity of that ad format. For example, formats that have been tested and released on the most popular mobile-apps, such as Facebook, are more likely to do well when adopted by other mobile-app publishers.

By the time we were through these topics we were ready for a post-dinner drink! Bringing the night and an awesome partner summit to a close. Thank you to the partners who came out to join us. For more photos, head over to our Facebook page. To learn more about how you can be involved in our future partner summits, please reach out to your OpenX account manager or drop us a line here.