Ever since Admob got snapped up by Google last summer, we’ve seen a number of new mobile ad-networks burst onto the scene, each one attacking the lower end of the market with a slew of innovative solutions for publishers and advertisers. One of the most notable of these new entrants is the Vienna-based MobFox.
Founded half way through 2010, MobFox has fast become the ad-network to watch largely due to its rapid growth, which has been backed-up by a steady release of cutting-edge developments to its platform.
While other newly launched networks such as TapJoy and Liquid Wirless have diverged into virtual currency and Cost Per Lead models respectively, MobFox has focused its efforts on attacking and expanding the core services spearheaded by incumbents AdMob and iAd. This has lead to a number of new features, which have had a marked impact on the already rapidly developing mobile advertising market. MobFox now claims over 10 billion monthly ad impressions globally, working with around 1,500 advertisers and 7,000 publishers to serve ads to over 100 million customers. Not bad for a company founded by a 17-year old student.
Teaching an old fox new tricks
So what new toys does MobFox bring to the ad network table? Well, one of the most impressive areas of innovation is MobFox’s ‘mAdserv’ tool, which essentially allows publishers to use MobFox as their own customised adserver. This opens up the possibility of not only selling ad space directly to advertisers, who can purchase space on your apps via PayPal or credit card, but it also – via the ‘Backfill feature – means publishers can revert to ads from other networks. So if you want a higher paying ad from a different network, like AdMob or inMobi, all you need to do is to give MobFox the relevant account details and you can pick and choose any ad you want (and keep 100% of the revenue too).
Backfill makes even more sense when used in conjunction with MobFox’s eCPM control, allowing publishers to set the minimum pay-out threshold for an ad in MobFox’s inventory (you can also choose to display CPC or CPM ads). If no MobFox ads meet your payment threshold, you can revert to an ad from other networks.
With these tools at the disposal of publishers, it’s not hard to believe MobFox’s claim that its currently the highest paying network for the US and Europe. According to MobFox, average European CPC is $0.15 to $0.30, while US averages are between $0.12 and $0.20. The network also claims a 99% guaranteed fill-rate. There are a few caveats however, the 99% fill rate is – understandably – not guaranteed when eCPMcontrol is enabled and Windows Phone 7 publishers may experience lower revenue numbers due to the (relative) infancy of Microsoft’s OS.
MobFox also has a few neat tricks up its sleeves for advertisers. The network now boasts that around 75% of its ad inventory can be targeted by demographic, which includes age, gender, educational level, income, ethnicity, religion, relationship status and native language. That’s no mean feat considering the relative paucity of demographic targeting currently available on other ad networks.
MobFox’s ‘Optimisation’ tool adds an extra layer of visibility to campaigns, allowing advertisers to spot and drop low performing publishers and target ads based on device type and other variables. Other targeting options offered to advertisers include content channel targeting, geo-targeting, carrier targeting and scheduling.
When it comes to unit types, MobFox has developed a range of HTML5-powered banners – in addition to its standard MMA banners – capable of supporting rich media animation. In addition is MobFox’s recently launched APP ad units. These are banners that can display two different layers of media that flick back and forth every 3 seconds, allowing you to deliver two different messages on the same ad. MobFox’s claims APP units have given advertisers a 70-100% increase in Click to Download Conversions.
Leader of the pack?
With AdMob seemingly stuck in an innovation backwater ever since its acquisition by Google, and with other ad networks striking out on their own paths, its not hard to see why MobFox is already looking like a market leader in the mobile ad space. Its focus on the bottom line has made it almost impossible for advertisers and publishers to not take notice and its impressive array of new tools means that many other ad networks – including the big boys – need to think hard about upping their game.