Matomy and MobFox Q&A: Acquisitions, RTB and the mobile ad future

Performance-based marketing company Matomy has been busy over the last few months. The Tel Aviv-based firm recently acquired one of the biggest mobile ad networks in Europe, MobFox, and received a major investment from advertising giant Publicis, before helping MobFox roll-out a new private RTB platform with AirPush. We caught-up with Matomy’s EVP of media Assaf Suprasky and MobFox’s founder and CEO Julian Zehetmayr, to find out more on the acquisition and where the mobile ad market is heading.

Q&A: Matomy/Mobfox

MobFox CEO Julian Zehetmayr
Julian Zehetmayr
Matomy EVP of media Assaf Suprasky
MobyAffiliates: There’s quite a few mobile ad networks out there, so what made MobFox so attractive to Matomy?
Assaf Suprasky: Digital advertising is undergoing a period of rapid growth and innovation, and nowhere is that more so than in the mobile advertising sector. According to eMarketer, worldwide mobile ad spend will reach $69.1 billion by 2016, up from $32.7 billion in 2014, while advertiser spend on mobile programmatic will grow to $14.2 billion by 2016 from an estimated $4.4 billion in 2014.
It’s with these impressive growth numbers in mind that we determined it was necessary for Matomy to make a strategic investment in programmatic mobile advertising, which we have done with the acquisition of MobFox, Europe’s leading mobile advertising platform.
Matomy’s acquisition of MobFox represents another strategic investment in our digital performance-based advertising solution, following the announcement we made in October regarding the formation of a strategic partnership with the global ad giant Publicis Groupe.
MobFox offers a one-stop, integrated mobile ad solution for publishers and advertisers. The MobFox platform will form the core of a revamped Matomy Mobile performance advertising solution, which will include several new features and capabilities for advertisers and publishers.
Matomy and MobFox each have large publisher networks. What is the plan for integrating the two companies’ mobile solutions and what benefits will this tie-up offer?
AS: We view this acquisition as a marriage of two unique mobile advertising and monetization solutions that serve distinct customer groups. Ultimately, we are building together a powerful mobile offering that delivers innovative mobile programmatic (MobFox) and performance advertising (Matomy) solutions. Combined, we believe this will help publishers more efficiently manage their mobile, native and video ad revenue streams through the MobFox SSP, while maximizing their worldwide direct sales and advertising revenue via the MobFox RTB Exchange and its state-of-the-art traffic mediation technology.
Likewise, advertisers and agencies benefit from Matomy’s extensive publisher network, which includes 26,000 registered digital media sources that can help maximize the reach of their customer acquisition and lead-generation campaigns. Advertisers also will benefit from having access to the MobFox DSP, which allows them to run intelligent, optimized campaigns across its global publisher and app developer network by leveraging its programmatic media buying capabilities, as well as the unique traffic and reach of both Matomy and MobFox.
MobFox is an important component in the enhanced performance-based solution that Matomy brings to advertisers.
There is a lot of consolidation taking place right now in mobile advertising, such as the Matomy/MobFox deal. What are your views on how this ramp up in consolidation will impact mobile publishers?
Julian Zehetmayr: In many cases, consolidation is a good thing. I think the challenge with any mobile advertising start-up is how do we build out better technology for publishers and how do we attract more publishers so that we can compete against the big guys, like Google and Twitter, among others. Being acquired by a larger company like Matomy means that we’ll be able to invest more into building out and innovating our platform so that we maximize revenue for publishers.
AS: The mobile ad industry is in a rapid state of growth and innovation. And with that comes some necessary consolidation in order to achieve continued growth and scale. MobFox has built a fantastic mobile programmatic ad solution, and we are thrilled to have partnered with Julian and his team to continue to invest in and enhance the platform for both advertisers and publishers.
In terms of how industry consolidation impacts mobile publishers’ efforts to maximize their earnings potential, we view this as a positive development. The reality is that having dozens, if not hundreds, of different companies all sort of doing the same thing isn’t beneficial to the mobile ad sector in the long run. Publishers want scale, diversity and multi-channel monetization capabilities, all of which we believe that the combined Matomy and MobFox mobile ad solution offers them.
Where do you both see mobile advertising heading in 2015? What will be the two or three big mobile trends that publishers, advertisers and app developers should be aware of?
JZ: In 2015, I think we’ll see bigger brand campaigns landing on mobile apps and certain apps considered to be premium. Mobile app developers are rolling out much more compelling, unique and mobile-first offerings for advertisers to leverage.
Native is in its infancy, but in 2015, certain native ad companies will continue to try to figure out how to effectively provide a native ad experience for consumers, at scale.
AS: Echoing what Julian said, it seems very likely that in 2015, more and more brand ad budgets will shift to mobile. Specifically, two areas of growth: mobile programmatic and mobile video advertising.
Advertisers and publishers will increasingly turn to mobile programmatic advertising to meet their user acquisition and mobile monetization needs. According to eMarketer, advertiser spend on mobile programmatic will grow significantly in 2015, reaching an estimated $8.4 billion, from about $4.4 billion in 2014. Marketers using mobile programmatic in 2015 should look for two key things: reach and transparency. Find a mobile programmatic ad partner, such as MobFox, that offers a single gateway to new media sources and targeting capabilities, while also delivering a robust level of transparency that helps you scale your campaigns with confidence in the quality of users you are reaching and acquiring.
We also expect mobile video activity to grow rapidly next year. As consumers’ digital habits continue to shift from desktop to mobile and tablet devices, and digital video advertising takes a bigger bite out of TV ad budgets, expect to see a significant shift in advertisers’ budgets towards mobile video advertising throughout 2015.
It seems like everyone is trying to get a slice of the growing programmatic and RTB space – Matomy included. From a mobile publisher’s standpoint, what are the benefits of programmatic? What are the potential issues with it?
JZ: Our mobile focus has always been getting publishers paid the most for their inventory regardless of whether they sell it through our exchange or through a competitor using our ad network mediation offering.
Programmatic allows publishers to get the highest eCPM for every impression and allows advertisers to optimize their spend and reach the most attractive users for their campaign. Advertisers bid on their inventory and, in doing so, drive up the price, thereby maximizing a publisher’s revenue.
The potential issue with programmatic is that in order to provide every publisher with a high fill rate and high earnings, demand needs to match supply. There is plenty of demand from a banner perspective but higher-performing units, such as video, are not as widely available within RTB.
AS: Another benefit to publishers is the efficiency created by selling your inventory via RTB. Doing so can save a lot on the bottom-line costs for the publishers. Another issue, of course, is with ad quality control. This can be mitigated by working with a reputable mobile programmatic partner, such as MobFox.
Regarding MobFox’s new private exchange – Why did you decide to partner with Airpush?
JZ: With the partnership, MobFox is providing publishers connected to Airpush the opportunity to reach MobFox demand partners through the our RTB exchange. We operate our exchange on our own but we also have the ability to create these additional private exchanges by partnering with other companies, such as Airpush, that have similar goals.
Ultimately, we are trying to provide our publishers with the have highest fill rates and earnings potential, and we want our demand partners to have the best reach. We feel that the partnership we have formed with Airpush, in addition to our own RTB exchange, will achieve both of these goals.
Fill rates and achieving high eCPMs are problem for many mobile publishers. What’s the Matomy-MobFox solution for this?
JZ: Providing publishers the option to fill their inventory through MobFox’s ad network mediation solution and/or the MobFox exchange, gives them more advertising options and higher fill rates. As for higher eCPMs, we were one of the first mobile ad companies to launch native ads, which produce higher engagement rates and earnings for publishers, sometimes up to 5X more than banner ads. With the added support from Matomy, we are committed to continuing to innovate our platform to provide the highest earnings for publishers.
AS: We make it a priority to invest in companies that have developed proven innovative technologies and solutions that will give our advertising clients and media partners unrivalled access to these services. With MobFox, we believe we have found such a company, and we’re excited to now be able to build together an innovative mobile programmatic and performance advertising solution that solves publishers’ desire for achieving quality, scale and high eCPMs.
Combined, Matomy and MobFox have more than 2,000 active advertising customers. This scale offers significant demand for mobile publishers and app developers that are seeking higher-performing monetization solutions. In addition, Matomy’s recent partnership with global ad giant Publicis Groupe means we have an even larger base of global advertiser demand from which mobile publishers can find excellent monetization opportunities.
For more information on Matomy head over to the website, or you can check out MobFox’s website right here.