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Fyber at ProductCamp 2014

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It’s not easy to create a product that consumers love, and creating an enjoyable user experience requires much more than a clean interface and easy usability. On September 13th, the Fraunhofer Fokus Institute in Berlin opened its doors to ProductCamp 2014, where attendees were eager to learn how to strike that elusive balance which makes a great product. Product managers, agile coaches, scrum masters, and more – joined in a day of workshops and talks on various product development topics, from Iterative & Incremental Product Development to Developer Marketing to using Google Analytics for customer research.

The Fyber team had the opportunity to meet a lot of great attendees and to learn more about the importance of following a structured design process; asking customers what they want, creating user personas and doing what you do – with love.

As for sharing our own knowledge, Fyber’s very own Technical Product Manager, Jakub Uniejewski, was honored with the opportunity to give a talk on product experience. Jakub provided three real-life stories from his career which demonstrated that product experience is much more than just UX. User experience issues might arise with no fault on the part of the product manager, as external circumstances that one can’t influence often come into play. However, it’s up to the product manager to research and solve these issues and on occasions, it may require taking bold decisions for a better user experience, over short term gains. The takeaway is; you’ve got to take risks, be bold, and be innovative to become a good product manager – not to mention possessing good research and analytical skills worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

We’re looking forward to the next series of ProductCamp events coming up in Q4, which will take place not only in Germany, but globally in Australia and the U.S. See you all there!

dmexco 2014: Back from the future of the digital marketing industry

dmexco is not your average digital marketing industry gathering, it’s a trip to the future. A hotbed of business meetings, ideas and networking, dmexco 2014 delivered excellently on the promise of ‘Entering new Dimensions’, the overarching theme of this year’s conference. It did so not only through the impressive size of the exposition (spread over three vast aircraft hangar-sized buildings), but also through the top-class speakers and their visionary perspectives on the future of the digital economy.

This year, the theme of innovation was clearly top-of-mind. As the mobile ad tech industry starts to consolidate, it must continue to innovate its technology, its products and the way it does business. This is especially relevant in a world where each marketing dollar is scrutinized from every conceivable angle to gauge ROI.

Meanwhile, at the Fyber booth, there was a lot of conference action: we were thrilled to see deep interest in our video and performance advertising offerings. Other topics of discussion spanned from our ad mediation solution to our user acquisition capabilities. The inspiring conversations confirmed that we deliver great value for advertisers and offered a wealth of take-aways on how we can further improve our product offerings.

All in all, it was another fantastic year for Europe’s premier digital event. Check out a snapshot of the highlights below! A big thank you for everyone who stopped by our booth. We look forward to seeing you again in 2015 as we’ll be going back to…the future!

Fyber @ dmexco 2014

RUG::B Meetup at Fyber

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What do Ruby developers do on an average Thursday night in Berlin? Well, on one particular Thursday night last week, more than 60 members of the RUG::B group (Ruby User Group :: Berlin) were welcomed to the Fyber office for their monthly meetup to enjoy exciting Ruby presentations and discussions, along with pizza and an impressive selection of artisan beers.

The hot topics discussed included:

Afterwards, Weidenfeld took his place at the DJ decks, as the most determined guests stayed for more chatting and playing a round or two of Fußball.

To our fellow RUG::B members: we don’t know how your Friday at work was following the meetup, but the Fyber team definitely needed an espresso or two to kick start the morning! Tired eyes aside, the exciting evening was well worth it, and we are looking forward to welcoming the RUG::B group again soon!

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What Does Fyber Value Most As A Company?

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Both Fyber’s Berlin and San Francisco offices met today to discuss the unveiling of the company’s newly formalized value system. As Fyber grows in numbers and vision, we felt as though it was more important than ever to have a clear set of values to refer to. Here is a quick look into what matters to us most here at Fyber and how we embody these values on an everyday basis.

 

Passion: We’re passionate about our products, our team, and our partners.

Team Spirit: We’re open-minded, respectful, and committed to fostering team spirit.

Courage: We’re a no politics, no bullshit gang, with the courage to drive change and accelerate growth.

Excellence: We execute with excellence, focusing on quality, not quantity.

Pragmatism: We make fact-based decisions, solving problems pragmatically.

Accountability: We take ownership of our successes and failures.

 

With the new rebrand, Fyber is excited for a chance to show everyone how we put these values into action. We even celebrated this morning with cupcakes showcasing each value!

 

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Welcome, Rails Girls! Fyber Hosts Two Summer Fellows

We’re very happy to welcome two awesome Rails Girls into our office twice a week as they spend the summer programming for an open source project. Joining companies like Asquera, as one of the host companies for the Rails Girls Summer of Code, we’re opening up our workspace and dedicating resources to two women looking to become full-time programmers.

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Magda Frankiewicz (left) and Ute Mayer (right) coding away!

Who are these two mystery programmers? Ute Mayer and Magdalena Frankiewicz were the winners of the Rails Girls’ fellowship this summer. Ute is a computer science student living in Berlin since 2009, and she is also a Rails Girls Berlin organizer who aims to share her passion for technology with as many women as possible. She believes that the best learning comes from hands-on experience, which is why she’s looking forward to working on an open source project this summer. You can check out Ute’s GitHub account here: github.com/nerdbabe

Magda comes from a background in cultural management and the non-profit sector. She started learning how to code at the beginning of this year, when she joined Rails Girls Berlin as an organizer and started taking part in a workshop with other beginners. She found the Rails Girls and Ruby community in Berlin to be very inspiring and supportive, so she decided to explore programming in more depth this summer. You can check out Magda’s GitHub account, as well: github.com/madziaf

As far as the project goes, Ute and Magda will be working on a tool for documentation testing. Nowadays, software documentation quickly becomes outdated and samples of code aren’t always verified. This is especially true for projects relying on integration with other changing software libraries. To fix this issue, Ute and Magda will implement a tool that tests code samples in software documentation. Their second project is to build a documentation website for the web framework Padrino.

If you want to follow along, Ute and Magda are planning a weekly podcast to track their progress and will post updates to their website: http://code-padawans.de/.

We’ve Rebranded! SponsorPay Is Now Fyber

We’re excited to announce that today SponsorPay has officially rebranded to Fyber.

SponsorPay’s rebrand to Fyber goes beyond just a new company name. Over the last eighteen months, we have evolved from a rewarded advertising network into a top mobile supply-side platform for app developers, as evidenced when our clients voted us into VentureBeat’s list of Top 10 Mobile Advertising Companies in January 2014. While it’s bittersweet to part ways with our old company name, rebranding to Fyber is a natural step for our company as we continue to enhance our product offerings and build the best mobile supply-side platform in the market.

So why Fyber? We chose this name because it represents the brand attributes of our company: innovative, empowering, and unifying. It’s our mission to provide innovative solutions that empower app developers to build the smartest ad monetization strategies possible by unifying today’s fragmented mobile advertising ecosystem.

If you’d like to learn more about our decision to rebrand, you can read our press release that went live today. 

We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful support you’ve extended to us at SponsorPay over the last five years, and we are thrilled that you are on this next journey with us as Fyber!

Yours truly,

Andreas Bodczek & Janis Zech
Co-Founders, Fyber

 

Tech Meets… Espresso? Fyber Learns How It’s Done from Berlin School of Coffee

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It’s easy to picture techies drinking espresso, but can you imagine a group of programmers, product managers, marketers, and salespeople making espresso?

Fyber’s team rose to the challenge yesterday, when a barista from Berlin School of Coffee visited our new Berlin office to bestow her coffee-making wisdom. With the fancy espresso machine in our office’s big kitchen, we jumped on the opportunity to learn how professionals serve up flat whites, cappuccinos, espresso macchiatos, and other caffeinated delights.

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Besides teaching us about the origin of the Americano (apparently, American soldiers couldn’t handle straight espresso when stationed in Italy, so Italian baristas started adding extra water for them), our trainer gave us some key tips:

  • The single espresso handle has one spout, and the double espresso handle has two. Simple enough, but without paying attention, you could have a double stream of espresso and only one cup.
  • Always “flush” out the espresso machine before making the coffee. There’s a button by each handle that cleanses the pipe for a fresh start.
  • Don’t touch the steamer! It is blistering hot. Grab onto the black rubber holder to move it, or use a cloth. Also, let it spit out a bit of steam before putting it in your milk, and be sure it’s pointing away from you.
  • Tap the milk pitcher when there are too many bubbles after steaming, and swirl around the milk until the foam starts to shine.
  • If you go to Italy, never ask for a Latte Macchiato in the afternoon.

The bottom line? Now, our team doesn’t just provide outstanding service; we also provide outstanding coffee. If you’re looking for expert advice on ad monetization on top of a caffeine fix, get in touch! Our lounge at Johannisstrasse 20 is the place to be.

 

Optimize Yield & Raise eCPM with Fyber’s Predictive Algorithm

By David Linder, Product Manager

One key goal of an ad monetization platform is optimizing yield for developers. To reach this goal, it’s important that every single ad request is filled with the highest-yielding ad available at any given time for any given user.

But optimizing yield is a complicated task — even for mediation solutions that offer large amounts of demand. Technical limitations sometimes restrict data on ad performance, making it hard for mediation solutions to predict and serve the highest yielding ads in the queue.

Our mission is to help developers make the most of their ad monetization strategies, so we set out to overcome these challenges. The result is our Predictive Algorithm. In this post, we’ll explain the challenges of yield optimization, the strategy most mediation solutions use to operate around these challenges and increase eCPM, and the reason why our Predictive Algorithm is helping developers take optimization to the next level.


The Challenges of Optimizing Yield

Determining which single ad has the highest yield requires access to each ad’s individual performance data. For server-side mediated ad formats like Offer Walls, this works out nicely; the ads are channeled through the mediation solution servers, which allows the algorithm to track granular data on an ad level and optimize delivery.

When it comes to client-side mediated ad formats, however, there’s a catch. Collecting data for ad formats like mobile Rewarded Video and Interstitials currently isn’t possible on an ad level, due to lack of interaction between the ad and the mediation servers. Because of this, optimization only exists on the network level. In other words, after determining which ad network is, on average, likely to deliver the highest yield for a given request, the mediation solution leaves it to the network to decide which ad to deliver.

 

The Waterfall Model and Its Limitations

The wide-spread approach to handling this lack of ad-level control is the waterfall model. Each time an ad will be shown to a user, the mediation solution ensures that available ad networks are requested in a pre-determined order, which is based on each network’s historical average yield. This means that when a user is exposed to several ads, the network with the highest average will be requested over and over again (provided it can deliver the fills).

The waterfall approach, which serves ads based on average network yield. This approach serves all ads from the same network before proceeding to the next network. As you can see, this means that low-yield ads from Network 1 are shown before high-yield ads from Network 2.

The problem is this: the later ads in this ad network’s sequence are likely to have a much lower yield than the network average on which the high ranking is based. More importantly, these ads are likely to have a lower yield than the top ads from other networks — even though the other networks might have a lower average ranking.

With the waterfall model, the ads being shown to users aren’t always the highest yielding ads available — sometimes far from it. Needless to say, this represents a substantial revenue loss for developers.


Raising eCPM with Fyber’s Predictive Algorithm

At Fyber (formerly SponsorPay), we have set out to solve this problem using an algorithmic approach that leverages the extensive data at our disposal as a mediation platform. While we recognize that full yield transparency on the ad level just isn’t possible today for client-side mediated ad networks, we have seen that it is possible to get closer through mathematical modeling.

The model starts with the assumption that yield declines as the user progresses through the inventory of a given network. Using a continuous feed of traffic data for a dynamic approach, our solution creates unique models for each ad network in combination with each app that uses the network. This is because there are often substantial differences in app usage patterns and network yield patterns.

Fyber’s predictive algorithm approach, which predicts yield on an ad-by-ad level, rather than by average network yield.

Finally, these models are applied in real time when the user requests an ad. At that moment, our solution combines the individual user history with the ad network models according to whichever specific app is in question. Then, we make a prediction of the yield of the next available ad in each ad network. Based on these yield predictions, we are able to deliver a list of ad networks ordered by the yield of their next ad in queue (rather than their average yield). Then, the client finds and delivers the first fill in the list.

This ability to locate the top yielding ad available for a particular user, at a particular point in time, has further boosted the performance of our mediation solution. It has become an integral part of our optimization of mediated ad networks — and moving past the years-old waterfall model is only the beginning. We will continue to innovate, helping developers discover and execute ever more sophisticated ad monetization strategies.

Heartbleed Vulnerability Update

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This week, a major security flaw was detected in OpenSSL, the open-source encryption standard used by the majority of popular websites and services like Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and more. Here at Fyber (formerly SponsorPay), as soon as we were aware of this issue we took immediate steps to patch our systems against the vulnerability.

We have no evidence of any malicious behavior, but we wanted to strongly encourage you to change your Fyber (formerly SponsorPay) password. If you’re a developer, please log in to the Developer Dashboard, then go to “Account” and then “Change Password”. If you’re an advertiser, please log in to the Advertiser Control Panel, then go to “Account” and then to “Login Data”.

We also recommend that you follow best practices and periodically change your passwords everywhere, including Fyber (formerly SponsorPay). When changing your password, you can follow these simple best practices:

  • Do not use any part of your username or service name in the password.
  • Try to make it at least 8 characters long.
  • Try to mix letters and special characters in a combination you can remember.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

SponsorPay Launches First Non-Rewarded Ad Format, Interstitial Ads, for iOS & Android

As ad monetization strategies grow ever more sophisticated, SponsorPay empowers developers to combine in-app ad formats for maximum revenue.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – March 13, 2014 – SponsorPay, a leading mobile supply-side platform, today announced newly added support for Interstitial Ads on iOS and Android. The announcement marks the first time SponsorPay is offering a non-rewarded ad format to developers, a natural step forward in empowering developers to build advanced ad monetization strategies based on a wide variety of ad formats. With several ad networks on board including AppLift, Appia, InMobi, Millennial Media, and more in the pipeline, SponsorPay expects that its developers will see high-quality results very quickly.

SponsorPay’s Interstitial Ad support is advantageous for developers, who are increasingly turning to ad monetization strategies for revenue as freemium apps continue to dominate the app store. Gartner predicts that 94.5 percent of apps will be free by 2017, a clear sign that in-app monetization is the future of the app economy. Accordingly, developers are starting to build more sophisticated ad monetization strategies that incorporate multiple ad formats across a unified SDK integration.

“There’s huge value for developers to be able to access a wide variety of ad networks through supply-side platforms,” said Dr. Hanno Fichtner, CEO of AppLift US. “We’re excited to partner with SponsorPay as they continue to extend flexibility to developers, empowering them to further maximize their monetization opportunities through an easy solution.”

Interstitial Ads have produced up to a 9x increase in eCPMs and 7x increase in conversions for app developers across Europe and the United States, according to results published by InMobi in August 2013. Static interstitials, according to inMobi, provide click-through rates as high as 20 percent. These numbers shed light on the extremely high performance of Interstitial Ads in today’s mobile advertising market.

“Increasingly, we’re noticing that mobile developers want cloud-based software for centralizing all ad monetization needs,” said Janis Zech, CRO & Co-Founder of SponsorPay. “This drove our decision to introduce Interstitial Ad support to our sell-side platform, empowering our partners to strike direct agreements with leading interstitial networks in order to grow their businesses on top of Rewarded Video and Offer Wall ad revenues.”

Developers mediating Interstitial Ads through SponsorPay’s platform will be able to access brand-specific and app-specific demand on a global scale, thanks to the diversity of the supported ad networks available. Developers using SponsorPay will also maintain the freedom to choose the ad networks that fit their strategy, an option that allows them to maximize revenues with unparalleled flexibility.