Idil Canal is the General Manager of Business Solutions leading the product development and growth of AppLovin’s software solutions. Idil joined AppLovin when the company acquired MAX, AppLovin’s in-app bidding based monetization solution. At MAX, Idil was the Head of Product. Prior to that, she led the software development and delivery of business solutions and services in various tech startups focused on mobile.
Idil holds a BA degree from Brown University and is originally from Istanbul, Turkey.
In your own words, what’s your role in the app business right now?
As the General Manager of AdTech Solutions at AppLovin, I am responsible for building and managing long-term relationships with our mobile developers and our demand partners to supercharge their growth with AppLovin’s solutions. AppLovin recently acquired MoPub from Twitter and I’m currently overseeing the transition.
How did you end up working in apps?
Since the very first job I had, I have been working with different software products at the intersection of mobile and programmatic buying. Whether it was media buying for agencies on mobile, monetizing apps or just developing mobile SDKs – mobile has always been at the forefront of my career.
I joined AppLovin through the acquisition of one of our software solutions, MAX where I was the Head of Product back in 2018. Prior to that, I was Global Head of Technical Solutions at MoPub working closely with mobile publishers and the programmatic buyers.Having worked with the top names in the mobile space, the potential of growth and how far innovation can take the market further was clear. Being able to deliver the best software solution in mobile has been a fascinating experience – and still has massive growth potential.
What are you most excited about in apps right now?
Many of our AppLovin partner studios are developing new and exciting projects and apps, with a number planning to come to market over the next several months.
I’m looking forward to the positive impact that machine learning can have on app monetization. We have recently made a major technical improvement in our stack to incorporate AXON – AppLovin’s machine learning technology powering its main software technology. AXON is the engine behind our growth solutions and helps the entire mobile app ecosystem grow: consumers see more relevant ads, advertisers have equal opportunity to bid on the audiences they want, and publishers see higher CPMs. It exponentially and automatically improves results for AppLovin’s customers as it learns – from data – how to best satisfy their return on marketing spend goals.
And of course, the MoPub migration. These past several months my team and I have been focused on understanding the needs of MoPub publishers and buyers, and making sure we have integrated all into MAX, our monetization solution that unifies the needs of all mobile devs out there across all verticals. The new AppLovin SDK 11.0.0 is now live, with MoPub’s core features integrated into MAX.
What other companies in the app space do you rate/ inspire you and why?
I’ve had my eye on SHEIN (an international B2C fast fashion e-commerce company) as it has experienced massive growth – they have a unique business model and marketing strategy. It’s incredible how fast they’ve grown and how much of a reach they have gained in the last couple of years. Additionally, Disney+, while it’s not mobile specific, the Disney+ product and what it has accomplished in such a short time in the CTV and mobile space has been impressive. I have been a Bob Iger fan for a while, and seeing him navigate a giant organization towards innovation at the pace they are moving is awe-inspiring to watch.
What do you like most about working in apps?
I love the pace of innovation and the people working in this business. Tech evolves rapidly but mobile moves at lightning speed. Keeping up and making sure you are staying ahead with new improvements and innovations is exhilarating. It keeps us all young and motivated to do better.
Over the last 10 years, I have come to meet exceptional people through the folks I have worked with and the entrepreneurs I’ve had the privilege to partner with. They are talented, humble and always eager to do more. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing crowd and get a chance to build them the best solutions out there through my work at AppLovin.
What one thing would you change about the app industry?
Mobile adoption has soared over the past few years. For 2021, total spend across iOS and Google Play stores is on target to hit $135 billion, with downloads of new apps climbing to nearly 140 billion – signaling 20% growth in just two years (source: App Annie). As more and more developers find their way into creating free content, monetization will continue to be even more critical. Whether it’s ads, in-app payments or subscriptions, there is a lot of room for innovation. Play to earn and the decentralization of payments in mobile through blockchain are the two that I am following fairly closely. The growth expected in our industry with these brand new models could help us all win, at a greater scale.
If you weren’t working in apps what would you be doing?
Over the last few years, I have been really interested in real estate – both from a financial and consumer perspective. The nature of our job is that everything is digital and we don’t really have a chance to see and feel the real scale of what we build and how we touch people’s lives. Whether it’s creating the financial vehicle for investing in real estate or having the opportunity to build a home from the ground up, putting all the pieces together feels familiar with what we do on the software side of things on a daily basis.
Any Netflix/ TV show recommendations?
I highly recommend Chef’s Table, especially if you love good food and watching passionate people doing what they love. For those who like a good TV mystery, Behind Her Eyes is one of the best I’ve seen. Will leave it at that though…no spoilers!
iOS or Android?
I was a long term Android fan and loved the flexibility and customizations, but more recently I’m back to where I started with an iPhone. I like simplicity.
Do you know someone driving change and growth in the app industry?
Nominate an app leader here.