Addictive Mobility ups its game with multiple marketplace deals

The Toronto-based company now has access to unique inventory across thousands more mobile apps and all that juicy data

Addictive Mobility has had a busy 7 months. In that time, its integrated its mobile demand-side media buying platform with five of North America’s largest programmatic marketplaces: AppNexus, Rubicon, PubMatic, Opera Mediaworks, and LiveRail (recently which was purchased by Facebook).

The deals mean the Toronto-based company now has access to unique inventory across thousands more mobile apps – and has a lot more data about where audiences are in the mobile space.

CEO Naveed Ahmad said that the deals were less about increasing Addictive’s unique audience reach than they were about having access to more and better quality publishers. Addictive says its pre-existing suppliers Smaato, Nexage and Twitter’s MoPub already enabled it to reach roughly 97% of the Canadian mobile audience and 93% of the U.S. mobile audience.

But having access to unique users does not necessarily mean being able to reach them when it matters most – for example when they’re using an app that’s contextually relevant to an advertiser’s campaign. Ahmad said having access to more premium publishers through the new suppliers will help Addictive be more selective about the channels it uses to reach audiences, and find the best inventory to meet the client’s objectives.

“Our strategy now is to collect as much impression data from every single place,” Ahmad said. The point, he says, is not to look for “one app on five different exchanges,” but to focus on those apps that are uniquely offered through each platform. “I want to have a complete library of apps that are just on individual exchanges to give us a breadth of every single app on every exchange, that we can access at any time. That gives us depth.”

That large body of audience data and choice of premium impressions is all-important to a brand advertising player like Addictive, which – unusually for a mobile DSP – does zero pay-per-click performance advertising.

In desktop display and video, supplier relationships are no longer considered a major differentiator for DSPs, because most large DSPs (like Turn, MediaMath, Google Bid Manager) have cross-industry supplier relationships that give them access to the same gigantic pool of impressions. But in mobile, where new mobile apps and new programmatic marketplaces are being launched every day, those supplier relationships are still developing – and its a race to see which mobile buying platforms can build out their supply network the fastest.

Mobile’s the new game in town

Unlike Smaato, Nexage and MoPub, which are mobile-only programmatic exchanges, Addictive’s new partners are typically known for inventory in other channels. AppNexus, Rubicon and PubMatic are dominant display exchange providers, while LiveRail is a cross-screen video exchange.

But that doesn’t mean Addictive is pivoting to work in display. Rather, the big suppliers in display are pivoting to get into the mobile game.

“These conversations actually started when we were at the Mobile World Congress in February. What we noticed was PubMatic was there, Rubicon was there,” Ahmad said. “We said, ‘Guys, this isn’t what you’re known for.’ And they said, ‘No no no, that was the old PubMatic, that was the old Rubicon. Now we want to be known as mobile guys.’”

Just last year, AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley announced that the company was going “all-in on mobile.” Opera, a technology company known for its desktop and mobile browsers, recently launched the Opera Mediaworks Audience Exchange (OMAX), which sells mobile web and in-app inventory.

Ahmad said these suppliers are using their relationships with large publishers and media networks to get unique access to premium apps as those publishers move into the mobile space, making them all the more attractive for mobile buyers.

Meanwhile, Addictive is making plans to expand from North America to the U.K. Ahmad said the company has been interviewing for a team to lead its London office, and plans to add a pin on the map before the summer’s over.

To read more about Addictive Mobility, check out Marketing Mag’s feature from the April issue.

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