As header bidding took off in 2015, the ecosystem became significantly more crowded. Publishers were signing up multiple header bidding partners, and DSPs that traditionally wanted all the supply they could get were finding themselves with too much supply, and it became increasingly difficult to separate the partners that were truly adding value.
Cutting through the clutter in the high growth, “wild west”phase is a difficult task that companies in multiple industries have had to deal with, and for OpenX, this presented a real challenge. The answer, however, was to double down on the areas where the company had real strength, and one of these strengths was quality. The industry was beginning to align around third party initiatives that would help bring increased quality controls and standards to digital advertising, including the work spearheaded by TAG, the Trustworthy Accountability Group. In late 2016, OpenX was one of the first companies to receive a TAG seal for “Certified Against Fraud,” helping communicate the company’s commitment to quality to the rest of the advertising ecosystem.
Another area where OpenX saw an opportunity to differentiate and grow was in mobile. After bringing on the company’s current VP of Mobile Biz Dev, Maggie Mesa, mobile inventory grew 180% year-over-year, and actually surpassed desktop for the first time.
While it was a tough year, the company still maintained it’s 9th straight year of growth, 3rd straight year of profitability and the business was setup to continue differentiating in 2017.
The 2014 introduction of header bidding took OpenX to a new level of growth, and in 2015, this trend continued and in many ways even accelerated.