Industry updates and news from the ad tech world

Case study: Getting UA right

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In our latest case study, we take a look at how Social Point – Spain’s largest mobile game studio – achieved success by working with Fyber to execute a smart and targeted user acquisition strategy. A leading developer of top-grossing mobile and social games, Social Point’s games have garnered over 50M monthly active users and more 100 million downloads. In this study, we’ll examine how Social Point:

o  Earned the #2 rank amongst US Android games for their title, Monster Legends
o  Influenced 66% of acquired users to complete the game’s tutorial
o  Achieved an average ROI of 7-10% per user

Download the study to read the full story.

Hot topics @ ad:tech – (Un)truth in advertising

As ad:tech San Francisco drew to a close last week, one of the last keynote addresses actually attracted one of the largest crowds: The panel focusing on ad fraud. This topic was top-of-mind throughout the conference, and the speakers at the address provided compelling insights into mitigating the risk of non-human traffic, fraud, and viewability.

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Today, both advertisers and their partners are forced to acknowledge that fraud is a topic of continued concern. As mobile advertising traffic increases in volume – soon expected to exceed display – ad fraud has become a costly problem that advertisers have to tackle. Despite enormous growth potential in the mobile market, there are serious challenges of trust within the digital supply chain. To combat this mistrust, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) organized a task force comprised of 36 national industry players committed to identifying where the highest inventory of non-human traffic is coming from.

The scope of this problem is great; according to recent research, a concerning 50% of 3rd party ad views were attributed to non-human traffic, while 23% of video ads were associated with fraudulent bot traffic. Faced with this stark reality, marketers are poised to lose $6.3B to non-human traffic by the end of 2015.

That said, another key problem that plagues the mobile advertising industry is transparency. The movement of ad dollars from traditional formats towards mobile programmatic has invited fraud into the ecosystem. With fewer verifications and checkpoints in place, there is less insurance of where mobile traffic is coming from. The panelists agreed that advertisers are wary to scale their budgets in the digital space because of the pervasiveness of ad fraud, especially because the highest CPM/CPC inventory has the greatest propensity for fraudulent behavior.

According to panelist Suzanne Sypulski, Director of Ad Ops at The Wall St. Journal, clients need to be educated on the risks and cost of ad fraud and align themselves with partners who take have safeguards built into their ad tech. There was an overwhelming consensus that the best way to combat fraud was for brands to demand greater transparency and take ownership of their data and technology by establishing backend checks. Simultaneously, ad networks, publishers, supply side platforms, and agencies need to buy traffic from trusted monitored marketplaces (which have an average of only 4% fraud, as opposed to 16-20% fraud in open exchanges) and have technologists on staff to assess traffic quality.

Key themes of vigilance and education on best practices resonated throughout the panel’s discussion of prospective solutions for mobile and programmatic ad fraud. In addition, it was noted that using specific CPA or CPE metrics (or even the speculated concept of CPH, cost-per-human) which directly target business initiatives, increases operational efficiency by ensuring that partners are driving traffic based on quality, rather than solely seeking to maximize fill. Lastly, the panel agreed that bringing together key constituents in all parts of the advertising funnel opens the dialogue and facilitates the creation of industry benchmarks to help recognize signs of fraud (e.g. high volume click habits between midnight-7am are usually fraudulent). This system of checks and balances allows all parties to navigate the layers between the buyer and publisher and be proactive about detection.

Looking to the future, Michael Kelly, Sr. Media & Consumer Comm. Mgr at American Licorice Company, reminded everyone, “spoofing location data is the newest thing in mobile ad fraud. As mobile video takes hold, it will be where the black hats focus next.”  As a whole, the panel was able to offer high-level advice on how advertisers, vendors, and everyone in between should be cognizant to prevent the infiltration of fraudulent activity.

Hot topics @ ad:tech – Protecting your brand in the age of programmatic

Ad-tech headerAs you might imagine, much of the buzz at this week’s ad:tech SF conference focused on the rise of programmatic media buying and what this shift means for advertisers. This topic was hotly discussed during the panel “Protecting Your Brand in the Age of Programmatic”, featuring Tremor’s Video’s President of Publisher Platforms, Manish Jha, Turner Broadcasting’s SVP Ad Operations & Chief Data Scientist, Stephano Kim, and Google’s Ruth Kirschner, Director of Media Platform Sales.

The explosion of video and emergence of digital

Jha noted early in the panel that the explosive consumption of video content by consumers was part of what attracted him to his position at Tremor. “There are 1.5 million people in the US,” he shared, “who only subscribe to broadband and don’t have TV.” He explained that this trend means there’s a large, emerging audience of consumers who simply can’t be reached through traditional television advertising, which has long been the “go-to medium” for brands. As a result, more and more brands are turning to digital channels to disseminate their message.

Why programmatic?

But why the shift to programmatic? Across the panel, a key theme seemed to resonate: efficiency and effectiveness. Kirschner noted that a programmatic strategy – when executed properly – actually provides advertisers with a much more effective way to market. She explained, “programmatic is essentially infusing data into your buy, enabling you to reach your audience one-to-one and at scale. It allows you to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right creative.” Jha echoed this sentiment, adding that programmatic provides a terrific opportunity for buyers to gain more efficiency, since it enables them to buy into specific audiences.

Managing your brand and mitigating risk

As is often the case when programmatic is discussed, the word “risk” wasn’t far behind. Kirschner noted that when it comes to mitigating risk, advertisers have lots of tools available to them to help target and set the context for their campaign – for example, whitelisting or blacklisting, or setting appropriate geo-targets. When the conversation shifted to viewability, Kim shared his stance that “it’s not about making the ad more viewable, but moving to a more native experience that the user is interested in” and will therefore drive engagement. While the panel was unanimous in their support for the development and exploration of more native and engaging formats, Jha also commented that the industry should “strike a balance and ensure that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far. There should always be a clear delineation between publisher content and the ad.”

Next week

Check back next week when we continue our recap of hot topics from this year’s ad:tech SF, and take a look at how fraud (the “big bad wolf” of the ad tech world) was discussed at the conference.

 

Fyber partners with Chartboost, offering access to games-only interstitial, video, & rewarded video demand

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We’re excited to announce that Fyber’s mediation platform now offers support for Chartboost, providing our clients access to more leading, high-quality demand. Established in 2011, Chartboost offers a large network of games-only interstitial, video, and rewarded video ads on both iOS and Android.

“Partnering with Fyber was a natural fit for Chartboost,” said Clay Kellogg, CRO of Chartboost. “Offering access through Fyber’s mediation layer allows developers to tap into our extensive network of games-only demand, while benefiting from the ease of management and optimization features provided by Fyber’s platform.”

Fyber’s supply side platform offers developers access to both its leading ad network mediation platform, as well as additional demand from the Fyber Programmatic Exchange, all through a single unified SDK. The mediation platform makes it easier for developers to manage, optimize, and prioritize multiple demand streams from a central dashboard, which in turn boosts fill and maximizes revenue. In addition, Fyber’s predictive algorithm helps developers go beyond the traditional waterfall model to ensure that they are always served with the highest-paying ads.

“Fyber’s mediation product allows us to effectively manage and optimize all of our demand sources in one place,” said Drew Kirchhoff, Product Development at Yodo1. “We’re excited that Fyber’s partnership with Chartboost, who has also been a partner of Yodo1, will allow us to work with yet another strong demand source through Fyber’s platform.”

If you’re interested in working with Chartboost through Fyber’s mediation platform, please contact your account manager.

New: Bundled SDKs make mediation integration easier, more flexible, more reliable

Fyber wants to make ad monetization as streamlined as possible. This is why we’re proud to introduce our new bundled SDKs for the integration of your mediated ad networks. Bundled SDKs are currently available for all mediated ad networks on iOS – Android is coming soon!

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How it works

The bundled SDKs will simplify the way you integrate and update your mediated ad networks. Each bundle includes all the components you need for integration, including the adapter, the mediated network SDK, and its associated libraries. Simply download the bundles you want, connect them to your app, and watch your revenue grow.

Why use bundled SDKs?

Bundled SDKs help get your app to market quicker with less errors. Here’s how:

  • Streamlined, one-stop-shop for integrations: Bundled SDKs provide automatic access to the right SDK and adapter versions in one place, eliminating the chance of version mismatch.
  • Certified to work: All bundled SDKs are diligently tested and certified by our large internal team of mediation and QA engineers. We’re dedicated to working closely with our mediated partners and committing resources to ensure that our product sets the bar for quality and reliability.

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  • Flexible and customized: Fyber’s bundled SDKs are unique because they’re designed to be fully customizable: Download and integrate bundles for only the ad networks you want to work with. This helps avoid unnecessary files that weigh down your app.

How does this affect me as a developer?

Your engineers will love the new streamlined integration process. To help you understand how bundled SDKs will change and improve the way you handle mediation integration and updates, we’ve prepared an FAQ for you and your team. If you’re ready to get started, follow the download links below. For any additional questions, please contact your account manager.

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Fyber Mediation grows stronger with additional mediated ad networks

In 2013, Fyber Mediation launched with leading global ad networks such as Applovin, Unity Ads, Vungle, and Flurry. Since then, it has always been Fyber’s goal to continually grow and build long-term relationships with the mediated ad networks that are most relevant to developers. We are happy to announce that developers can now integrate 4 additional mediated ad networks:  Tremor Video, MediaBrix, Facebook Audience Network and iAd. We’ve also expanded our partnership with InMobi to include rewarded video, and our partnerships with Flurry and Unity Ads to include interstitials.

Mediated Ad Networks

So much has happened in one and a half years!

Fyber was one of the first Supply-Side Platforms (SSP) to launch a mediation product that streamlined mobile advertising for app developers. It allowed app developers to work directly with multiple ad networks to optimize revenue and fill within their apps. The ability to access several ad networks with a unified SDK was a game changer for developers who could not fill all of their mobile inventory without using multiple ad networks. Then, Fyber Mediation became one of the leading mediation products on the market with a proprietary predictive optimization algorithm that predicts the eCPM of each ad and serves the one that maximizes revenue to the developer.

“As soon as we heard that Fyber was providing a mediation solution we signed up. We’ve been incredibly impressed with Fyber’s service and support, and the Mediation Platform gives us exactly what we need.”

Scott Walker, Head of Production, Ninja Kiwi

Now, one a half years later, Fyber Mediation continues to grow stronger with additional demand sources for rewarded video and interstitial ad formats.

Ready to add more mediated ad networks?

Reach out to your account manager at Fyber to learn more about the mediated ad networks we support and how to achieve the best monetization strategy for your app. The right set of mediated ad networks can help you achieve better fill rates and eCPMs, resulting in more revenue.

Supported mediated ad networks

Click on the adapter links below to see a list of all supported mediated partners and their integration status, including reporting integration availability:

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Working in a fast-growing, multicultural ad tech company: Simon Kröger, VP Technology

_MG_0278-Edit-webA few weeks ago, we introduced you to Fyber’s VP Engineering, Juan Vidal, as he shared his thoughts on how to get started in the mobile industry. This week, we’re catching up with Simon Kröger, VP Technology, to talk about how he grew with the company, his thoughts on how Fyber has maintained a “startup spirit”, and the benefits of multiculturalism in the workplace.

As VP of Technology, Simon is responsible for everything at Fyber that moves on its own without having a brain (besides the coffee machine). The various projects he’s managed over 12 years of freelancing prepared him for the technical challenges faced by Fyber’s complex platform, which serves thousands of external interfaces and millions of users everyday. A man of many talents, Simon knows half a dozen languages inside out and will happily share his technical expertise with everyone willing (and able) to follow.

AN: You’ve been with Fyber since the early days. Since you joined in 2010, Fyber has evolved to a global company with over 260 employees. It’s opened international offices, re-branded, and significantly grown its business and product line. What has it been like growing with a rapidly-expanding organization – and what were, for you, some of the highlights of the past 5 years?

SK: The company has, indeed, grown and changed a lot. To me it feels like a new company every two years, or sometimes even more frequently. This constant change is the reason why I still enjoy working for Fyber. I started as a developer and my personal growth and development within the company have been a definite highlight. I now hold the position of VP Technology and my career path at Fyber has presented many interesting challenges, not only in terms of the shifting focus of my position, but also in the new technical challenges that the company faced. We didn’t just add employees to our company over the past few years, we also added many new partners and clients and that has presented us with many interesting technical problems to solve, specifically when it comes to scaling.

AN: Organizational growth and spending years in an industry very often make firms move towards a more rigid, corporate mentality. Do you think Fyber has managed to preserve a startup mentality and spirit in communication within teams and cross functionalities?

SK: I think the startup mentality at Fyber still exists. Of course, you need to have a different structure to support and allow a company of 260 people to function. A company of 20 people sitting in the same room and going to lunch all together allows for very direct communication, but with a company of Fyber’s current size, you need to add more ways of ensuring that communication flows efficiently and that certain rules and regulations are followed. Fyber has managed to create smaller teams which, in themselves, work very similarly to how we did in the early days. Many people that hold leadership positions at Fyber have been with the company for a while and experienced the early startup days themselves. They liked the way we worked back then and are trying to ensure that we preserve this sort of “startup spirit” in our day-to-day operations, while of course adding functional levels on top to ensure that the larger structure is accounted for.

AN: Obviously with great growth, comes challenges. Can you tell us about a technical challenge that was particularly significant for you? How did you and your team tackle it?

SK: The growth and increase in traffic on our platform is the main challenge – we’ve not only grown as a company, but we’ve also evolved the product line that we offer to our partners. We started with a pragmatic approach that was managed by a pretty straightforward Rails application. But that grew over time into a not-so-easy-to-manage monolith! We knew we needed to change it at some point in time, so about one and a half years ago we started the process of tearing that big application apart into smaller, more manageable modules. The smaller modules are now managed by various teams and we ensure that the interface between these modules is well defined so that we can continue to run and update them without the fear of the whole platform crashing. I find this exceptionally interesting and have even presented at a number of conferences on this topic.

AN: You’ve worked in both the US and Berlin. How would you compare the working cultures in each country?

SK: That’s a tough question, I’m not even sure that Fyber is a typical German company. People that join tell us that we’re very focused on our product and on solving the challenges we’re faced with – and of course, we enjoy mastering those challenges. Once they’re solved we celebrate, but until the job is done we remain very focused. This might be a different compared to other countries. I also think we’re extremely thorough and we want the product to work immediately as it goes live, so we spend extra time and care on making and testing it before launch.

AN: With over 40 nationalities represented in our two offices, Fyber is a pretty international company. What do you think are some of the benefits of working in such a “melting pot” environment?

SK: There are plenty of benefits. On a personal level, going for lunch or having a beer with people from various countries and cultures and listening to their stories is a benefit in itself. Sometimes it makes me feel like I should travel more. Personally, I spent my whole life in Germany and had been living in Berlin before I started at Fyber.  Exposing yourself to other cultures gives you insight into how the world looks outside of your own country, even if its not through first-hand experience, but instead by talking to people that grew up and worked abroad. Work-wise, there are different approaches to problem-solving, although I think the tech community is very international nowadays. If you look at all the meetups and startups, they are so multicultural that for us it’s becoming the norm to work in such environment.

AN: Do you have any anecdotes or examples of multiculturalism leading to innovation or unusual problem solving in the workplace?

SK: We have very interesting and wonderfully weird people and great stories. We had a couple Spanish guys who only worked for us in the winter because they had no heating in their homes in Spain, so they would come to Berlin to work when it got too cold in their hometown. People from other cultures bring us a very different approach to looking at problems – many times a more relaxed approach, they are very often able to step back and look at the problem from a different perspective, a skill which I sometimes personally lack.

AN: Do you think it is better for the personal development and growth of an individual to work in an international team? Do you have examples from your own career path?

SK: I think this depends on what you want to achieve with your own career path. If you are, for example, planning to travel and work abroad at some point of your life, it makes it much easier if your company supports you doing so. However, even if this is not the case, when you meet people in an international working environment you build networks – some colleagues will leave and go back home or move on to another destination, but the ties will remain. I think there’s also a benefit to learning how to work together with people of different cultures and backgrounds, as some of them will have very different working styles than Germans do and this can definitely help you in your future career growth,  whether that’s in Germany or abroad.

Interested in joining Fyber’s growing, international team? Check out our careers page for current openings.

 

Fyber acquires Falk Realtime, Ltd.

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We’re pleased to share the news that Fyber is acquiring Falk Realtime, Ltd., a rapidly growing ad tech company based in Düsseldorf, Germany. Our official announcement is here, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the Fyber family. This acquisition paves the way for Fyber to become one of the world’s leading independent full stack supply side platforms (SSP). By empowering app developers with an ad tech infrastructure that has additional flexibility and granular controls, we help to monetize their inventory for optimal performance and return – all under one roof.

So who is Falk Realtime? The company was founded in 2013 by ad tech veterans Erwin Plomp, Henrik Basten, and Ultano Kindelan. Prior to Falk Realtime, the founders were responsible for EMEA operations in leading ad tech companies like DoubleClick, Experian, and EyeWonder, among others. The entire Falk Realtime team will be joining Fyber and the acquisition is expected to be completed in spring of 2015. All of us at Fyber are very happy to welcome a strong team of industry veterans.

Falk Realtime brings a multitude of enhancements to Fyber’s programmatic stack and new functionalities for app developers under a single, unified platform. We plan to integrate Falk Realtime’s ad server and RTB stack to empower our developer partners to monetize their apps in new ways, and continue to invest in future growth. This includes a wide variety of functionalities, such as setting up private marketplaces and running programmatic direct campaigns, as well as direct sold and cross promo campaigns via a self-serve ad server. For more information, please check out our FAQ.

As mobile advertising continues to shift to programmatic, we’re focused on investing in the technology and talent that will enhance our programmatic stack for app developers alike.

This is an important new chapter for Fyber, and our commitment to disrupt the status quo of mobile advertising by making it smarter and easier is just one small step in the many improvements to come.

We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and look forward to sharing more great news in 2015.

Andreas Bodczek & Janis Zech
Co-founders, Fyber

FAQ: iOS 8 & 64-bit Support

As of February 1st, 2015, Apple required that all new app submissions to the App Store be developed for iOS 8, using Xcode 6 and including 64-bit support. On June 1, all updates to existing apps will have to follow the same requirements. To address any questions you may have on this topic, we’ve prepared a detailed FAQ to help you and your team.

As a developer, what do these requirements mean for me?
It means that your app, as well as all SDKs and libraries included in your app, have to comply with the new requirements. So to avoid rejection of any new apps, please ensure that your app is built using the iOS 8 SDK and that it fully supports the 64-bit architecture. If you are looking to convert your app to a 64-bit binary, you can find more information regarding this transition through Apple’s iOS developer library.

What about Fyber’s SDK & the adapters for mediated ad networks?
The Fyber SDK (6.5 or newer) and our mediated ad network adapters already include 64-bit support and are fully compatible with iOS 8 SDK and Xcode 6. If you are running a version older than 6.5, please download and integrate Fyber’s latest SDK.

updated-chartWhat about my mediated ad networks?
Since you are also using the SDKs of your mediated ad networks, in addition to Fyber’s SDK, we recommend that you include only those ad networks whose SDKs are fully compatible with the new requirements. If you are running a version older than the minimum compatible version, please download and integrate that ad network’s latest SDK.

On the right is a comprehensive list, based on ad format, regarding the 64-bit compatibility of Fyber’s partner ad network SDKs. Please check with your partners regarding the minimum version required for compatibility.

What if my app is built in Unity?
Both the latest Unity 4.6 release and the new Unity 5 branch fully support 64-bit on iOS. The Fyber Unity plugin is compatible with both versions, so if you are still using previous version of Unity, please just make sure to update before June 1st. For any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager.

The Fyber Programmatic Exchange ends beta, launches globally

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We’re excited to announce that the Fyber Programmatic Exchange has moved out of beta and that programmatic demand is now available to all clients using interstitial ads. Through Real Time Bidding (RTB) – a programmatic technology – Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) and their advertisers can bid on app developers’ inventory in real time and apply fine-tuned targeting on the inventory most relevant to them. With this launch, Fyber now brings together a mediation layer across Interstitials and Rewarded Video with an RTB exchange.

For DSPs, Fyber’s OpenRTB-based exchange enables access to a growing base of unique mobile inventory through Fyber’s mobile Supply Side Platform, with 100% in-app placements from premium developers. Through high-performance ad formats – including Opt-in Video and Interstitials – DSPs and their advertisers can reach the segments that matter most from Fyber’s 320M+ monthly unique users and adjust their campaign budgets in real time to respond to performance. DSPs already integrated into Fyber’s RTB program include TradeMob, Mars Media Group, Ajillion, Pocket Math, Remerge, Jampp and Liquid M.

RTB_Blog_Sunstorm_QuoteFor developers, the launch of Fyber’s RTB Exchange means instant access to more high-quality Interstitial demand from leading DSPs with larger budgets. Programmatic demand competes against developers’ other demand sources, including mediation, to ensure that the highest-paying ad is always served first. “It’s great to see Fyber’s platform expand to support RTB for mobile advertising,” said Reid Sheppard, Director, Analytics Technology and Ad Revenue, Sunstorm Games. “Programmatic access to larger ad budgets and more inventory will allow us to utilize the Fyber platform to the full extent, providing efficiency and more revenue streams.”

To join our Programmatic Exchange as an advertiser, please contact [email protected].