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. As a host company 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.
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 Nowadays, software documentation quickly becomes outdated and samples of code aren’t always verified.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’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!
Andreas Bodczek & Janis Zech
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
SponsorPay Expands Video Mediation Platform to Android, Launching with Key Developers Pixelberry, Ninja Kiwi and Cie Games
Following rapid adoption of its iOS rewarded video mediation platform, SponsorPay launches Android counterpart to enable feature parity and ease of integration through unified SDK
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Feb. 19, 2014 – SponsorPay, a leading mobile supply-side platform, today announced the launch of Android support for its mediation platform to further empower developers with cross-platform feature parity. Now, developers can seamlessly integrate, manage and optimize video ads from leading ad networks across Android and iOS for better fill rates and higher eCPMs.
In 2014, mobile advertising spend is expected to reach $18 billion globally, according to Gartner. Video has been identified as the fastest growing ad format and the IAB estimates that mobile video ads will grow at a compound rate of more than 70 percent in the next five years. In parallel, Android is gaining significant ground in the race for platform dominance, capturing more than 79 percent of the smartphone market in 2013. Empowering developers with innovative and simple tools to capitalize on this momentum, Sponsorpay will partner with developers such as Pixelberry, Ninja Kiwi, Cie Games, LOVOO and Xyrality at the launch of its Android rewarded video mediation platform.
“We didn’t hesitate when considering whether to integrate SponsorPay’s rewarded video mediation for Android,” said Oliver Miao, CEO of Pixelberry. “We were an early adopter of SponsorPay’s rewarded video format on iOS and found that its built-in mediation layer helped us seamlessly manage our monetization strategy. The availability on Android is significant in that we can now offer a unified user experience across platforms.”
Developers must balance opportunity costs at each stage of the ad monetization lifecycle – integration, management, optimization and reporting. SponsorPay’s Ad Monetization Platform empowers developers through easy drag-and-drop ad network adapters, yield optimization features and the ability to view results on a consolidated and transparent revenue reporting system. This feature set is increasingly crucial for video as the medium catapults to the fastest growing ad format in 2014.
Ninja Kiwi, which has used SponsorPay’s iOS rewarded video mediation since October 2013, will be among the first developers to launch with Android support. “Our biggest advertising challenge was immediately alleviated after integrating rewarded video mediation on iOS,” said Scott Walker, Head of Production at Ninja Kiwi. “The growth in fill-rate and revenue was substantial, up 25 percent overnight. The added benefit is that more players received the rewards they wanted, which makes them more likely to engage with future ads and rewards. SponsorPay provides us with end-to-end solutions on iOS, web, and Android, and we look forward to similar immediate wins with Android video mediation.”
Optimization, another significant challenge for developers monetizing apps, is a key element of SponsorPay’s solution. To ensure adequate fill, developers must integrate multiple ad networks, but optimizing these ad sources expends valuable resources. SponsorPay recently launched its predictive algorithm to mitigate this time and resource expenditure. This proprietary algorithm automatically predicts eCPMs across all ads in all networks and selects the right ad to be delivered for each request, resulting in increased revenue for the developer.
“We see ad-based monetization as a key complement to in-app purchases,” said Austin Yuen, Product Manager at Cie Games. “SponsorPay’s supply-side platform allows us to automatically optimize based on eCPMs from multiple ad networks. This not only increases revenue across our different ad sources, but also makes our lives easier.”
Apple’s announcement about regulating IDFA use in mobile apps made headlines this week. In the wake of the news, we’d like to ensure that you’re informed and know we’re doing everything in our power to ensure this doesn’t affect our developer and advertiser clients.
First, a little background on Apple’s announcement and the situation:
The IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is the widespread tracking option for advertising within mobile apps. Each user has a unique IDFA that mobile apps can retrieve to serve advertisements. Apple’s crackdown applies to a specific subset of mobile apps: those that retrieve an end user’s IDFA without showing any advertising. Specifically, Apple states:
“You and Your Applications (and any third party with whom you have contracted to serve advertising) may use the Advertising Identifier, and any information obtained through the use of the Advertising Identifier, only for the purpose of serving advertising. If a user resets the Advertising Identifier, then You agree not to combine, correlate, link or otherwise associate, either directly or indirectly, the prior Advertising Identifier and any derived information with the reset Advertising Identifier.”
What does this mean for our clients, and why can you rest easy?
If you’re an app developer using our ad monetization platform, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You are showing advertising to your users, which is the explicit purpose of the IDFA and precisely what Apple allows.
Furthermore, more than 90 percent of advertisers on our platform use third-party tracking providers whose attribution works without IDFA. Tracking via these third-party providers will continue to work without IDFA.
We believe that mobile advertising attribution is a valid use of the IDFA, so we are working closely with our third-party tracking providers to monitor the situation. The fact remains that third-party tracking hasn’t been compromised.
We are currently working on a solution for those of you who are not using third-party tracking. We’ll provide updates to keep you informed on the best tracking alternatives that work independently of IDFA.
While we have yet to see an app get rejected for using IDFA for advertising attribution, we’re already working on a solution that will work without IDFA for those of you not using third-party attribution platforms.
Fyber (formerly SponsorPay) recently rolled out an update that allows users to globally top-rank a mediated network in the Publisher Dashboard. This important update underscores our dedication to empowering developers with features to support existing and direct agreements with multiple ad networks.
Previously, our developers were able to specify one or more countries in which to top-rank an ad network, using the Video Network Priority page under app settings. Still, we were getting requests from developers who wanted to apply the same ad network prioritization globally. To support these cases, we built “Global Top Ranking.”
A functionality in the country selection widget now empowers this:
Once a priority rule has been selected for all countries, the chosen network will always be the first requested network for ads, regardless of performance and a user’s location.
Developers, please note that you can only top-rank a network unilaterally if there are no other priority rules in place. If you have any uncertainties, your account manager will be happy to help. We hope this makes your lives just a little easier!
Now that 2013 is drawing to a close, we’d like to take a look backwards and reflect on what 2013 has meant for Fyber (formerly SponsorPay) and the mobile advertising ecosystem. Early this year, we saw two major shifts in how developers changed their ad monetization strategies:
It became more common for app developers to integrate several ad networks in an attempt to increase fill rate and eCPM, since no single ad network was able to fill all ad requests and provide good eCPM across all major regions.
Developers also began combining more ad formats in their ad monetization strategies in order to monetize different kinds of placements — both rewarded and non-rewarded — in their applications.
These shifts led to more complexity not only during integration of several ad network SDKs, but also in managing and optimizing these integrations and keeping track of overall ad revenue. For some popular ad formats like offer walls, using several ad networks also made it very difficult to maintain a great user experience.