Mobile inventory booming as Australia leads world

By Brendan Coyne | 6 March 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Mobile video ad inventory spots have reached 15.5 million spots a week. Next week it will be over 20 million. What's more it is now measurable. And by mid year a new Nielsen metric will mean it can be compared by media buyers in the same reach terms as TV.

Never before has so much mobile inventory been in one place, according to TubeMogul, which has taken the data from ad exchanges and inventory holders and come up with the 15.5 million figure. What is more, it is growing at 30.9 per cent per week in Australia so far in 2013.

Broken down by device, 72.4% of the video ad streams in Australia appear on smartphones. The remaining 27.6% is via tablets. That is more than any other country, according to the company.

The firm has released those figures as it launches real-time mobile buying on its platform. It claims that the launch means global centralised buying of mobile inventory through real time bidding is now available. Crucially, it is also transparent, according to MD for Australia, Stephen Hunt.

“The issue with mobile was always transparency,” he told AdNews. “very few people can tell you where you are running ads.” That is why it has been year of the mobile for the last decade, he suggests. “It holds back the speed of growth.”

Now he says advertisers can “control what apps they run in and see performance in real time.” He suggests that puts mobile at the same stage as internet buying when it shifted to programmatic buying. “It's the dawn of branding on mobile”.

It is not hard for agencies to mix in mobile to their current programmatic buying activities, said Hunt. “So now they can go back to clients and show three different [TV, internet and mobile] screens with the same tools and set of analytics.”

Hunt said buyers will be “able to buy in Target Audience Rating Points (TARPs) by mid year” when a new Nielsen metric, Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) launches. That means buyers can compare mobile like for like with TV reach. “It becomes a robust and believable measure,” he said.

Hunt said transparency would be the key to mobile programmatic buying. Given the growth opportunities, is he concerned that competitors will try and pile in? “No, because I they are going to compete, they have to be transparent. I'm confused that nobody in the market shows people where they are running. To me that is fundamental.”

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