Mobile Advertising and App Marketing Companies at Mobile World Congress 2014

James Cooper

In Mobile Advertising. April 1, 2014

Mobile World Congress 2014
Mobile World Congress has moved way beyond its origins as a place for mobile networking equipment vendors and handset companies to meet with mobile operators. These days it’s also a big meeting point for the various companies in the app ecosystem including the mobile advertising and app marketing networks.  The hall with the biggest buzz is really App Planet where the majority of mobile ad company exhibition stands are located.  Just walking around here you can really take the pulse of the industry and see who’s hot, who’s not and what the trends in the marketplace are.  You can check out our review of mobile advertising and app marketing trends at Mobile World Congress 2013 here.
This year a few things were apparent:

  • Mobile Ad Networks Are Dead – the likes of Mojiva and Madvertise were nowhere to be seen whilst many of the remaining mobile ad networks were repositioning themselves as DSPs, SSPs or app advertising services
  • Long Live Mobile Ad Networks – on the other hand there still seems to be plenty of life in the mobile ad network model in some areas with the likes of Millennial Media and InMobi continuing to have a big presence and launching new services in areas such as RTB, analytics and app marketing
  • The Rise of In-App and In-Game Ad Platforms – there are also a lot of players offering app advertising or game advertising solutions such as Leadbolt, SuperSonicAds, appOptim or Startapp
  • Growth in Analytics – plenty of companies offering app analytics solutions this year ranging from app tracking services like ADX, Mobile App Tracking/ Has Offers, Kochava to the appstore data providers like App Annie and Distimo
  • Retargeting and Engagement – this seems to be another exciting area which has been bubbling away for a while but now appears to be approaching prime time with the likes of Ad4Screen, TapCommerce and others showing off app retargeting solutions
  • The desktop adtech companies come to the party – there seemed to be a bigger presence from the desktop internet ad companies like Rubicon, Pubmatic, Appnexus and Criteo this year – it remains to be seen whether they will crush the mobile upstarts as the likes of are claiming or whether the mobile ad market is growing so fast that it will sweep away the old guard …

As usual, we managed to take a few pictures of all the mobile advertising and app marketing related companies booths we could find and here’s a few notes on each. Hopefully this helps give a flavour of everything going on at this year’s mobile world congress for those who couldn’t make it.

Mobile Advertising and App Marketing Companies at MWC 2014 Roundup

Here’s the full list of 49 (count them!) mobile ad companies we found at Mobile World Congress – at least those with stands … special mention to the guys at Jampp who put on a great dinner which we were lucky enough to attend.  Here’s the list:

The Ad4Screen guys had a big booth this year and were showing off a lot of cool products including their engagement and retargeting solutions which are looking pretty exciting.  Nice to see these stands with all the new products and so on being shown off and displayed instead of just a logo or something.

InMobi had a bunch of new innovations this year including App Publish which distributes your app across a number of independent app-stores and App Galleries which is an app offer wall type of ad unit.  They are also pushing their new analytics services.  Definitely a big leap forward on last year in terms of product and again they had the maybe biggest stand in App Planet.  They were also launching Peggy Anne Salz’s latest book Apponomics

Millennial Media
The same big stand as last year – Millenial Media was out in force with the premium ad network offering.  Didn’t get a chance to talk and find out what the new CEO has in store but I guess we’ll find out next year …
millennial media

App Analytics company Distimo was showing off their new branding with looks really good it has to be said.  @bookmeister and @catchthepidge were working hard as always talking to developers and publishers about their appstore stats and analtyics.

Fiksu still in attendance with their incentivised app discovery platform FreemyApps taking up a bigger part of the stand this year, apparently its the no.1 app discovery app in North America … Great talking to a couple of the team and hearing all the news.

Our friends at Leadbolt were showing off all their latest ad units and doing lots of business – great to catch up with Marc Carr and hear all about it.
2014-02-26 13.00.05

Appsfire were showing off their new native ad units and great to catch up on the news with Ayala and I hope we can get her to speak at the next App Promotion Summit!

Matomy have just announced their IPO and are going great guns – here they were showing off all their various mobile advertising and app marketing solutions.  A shame not to see our friend Noga there but maybe next time.  Great to meet a few of the Matomy staff and understand more about this fast-growing company.
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Airpush had a massive presence this year – one of the biggest, if not, the biggest stands in App Planet with lots of schwag and so on and again hosted one of the bigger parties at the W Hotel.  They seem to be shrugging off the ban on notification ads by google pretty well with a load of new products and ad formats including a DSP service.
Air Push

Haven’t heard much from mobfox for a while so it was great to see them here with some great new products and a lot of good energy

Mobile App Tracking
The team from HasOffers were out in force and great to talk to them both about Mobile App Tracking which is an amazing product in its own right but also the HasOffers platform which has been the basis for many successful mobile ad networks and affiliate networks.
mobile-app tracking

Our friends at mobpartner were showing off their new ad widget and offering much needed coffee as usual.  They are growing fast in Asia now with a lot of momentum for their CPA based ad network.  Great to see Guillaume, Vianney, Cristina and all the team there in force.
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Didn’t manage to speak to them although I dropped by to say hi to to Abraham who contacted us here regarding listing in the directory – they look like they have some interesting stuff going on.

Great meeting with Rotem and Chen – Clicksmob is a performance marketing platform with sits in the intersection of mobile CPA and app marketing.  Very good technology and interesting company.  For some reason we don’t have our own picture of this booth so you’ll have to make do with the below which shows COO Chen talking to someone with blond spikey hair …

Another one where we didn’t manage to get a photo of the booth but we did speak to the Chief Strategy Officer Ajitpal Pannu – very interesting conversation and more to follow on that.  Smaato have recently folded their DSP adsmobi back into Smaato and have a great position now as one of the leading mobile exchanges, particularly now that mopub is part of twitter.

MassiveImpact have a good reputation as a performance based media buying platform/ agency.  Didn’t manage to speak to them though.
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Crazy name crazy company?  They are based in France and do app marketing stuff – friendly people and nice to see them again this year.
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minimob is one of the app focused ad networks – again didn’t speak to them and should have made the effort – next year!
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We’ve seen AdMaxim come past our radar and went to find out more … they are basically offering a premium DSP focused around bigger brands and including helping with rich media creative.  Interesting new spin on the model.

We didn’t manage to talk to them but they offer a mobile DSP service.

App Annie
The app analytics company were here – they must spend a lot on conferences as you can pretty much guarantee to see them at almost every mobile-related event.
app annie

Last year AppLift were in a small stand as part of the Berlin pavillion/ contigent – this year they were at App Planet in force with lots of their growing team and their usual team of foxes.  Well done to Maurice for putting a great booth together!
app lift

App Gratis are still very much alive, despite being banned by Apple, apparently based on the millions of people who still have their app installed plus their new Android business. They had a big presence again at MWC 2014 (same booth as last year) – would have been nice to see a few new products and innovations from them but lets see …

One of the better online ad exchanges and already partnering with Millenial Media and Matomy to deliver mobile and app advertising services.  They also had their own stand here at MWC.

A new network on the scene appOptim have a social SDK that hooks into the various social networks including Whatsapp to help deliver viral app advertising alongside the conventional units.  Great to see them here at MWC and nice talking to Michael !

VServ seem to be doing well with their mobile ad server and ad network products – they seem to have a good foothold in a few different international markets although I would say they are less well known in Europe/ US
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 Ybrant Mobile 
These guys are a Indian-Israeli hybrid company I think which is pretty interesting – I should have said hi but for some reason didn’t get a chance
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Addictive Mobility
Great to talk mobile ads with CEO Naveed a fellow devotee! Addictive Mobility is a premium DSP focused on brands, HQ in Canada and expanding globally.
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Juice Mobile
Juice Mobile is another Canadian ad network and was nice talking to CTO Jack.
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This is Neil from the mobile affiliate network admobix holding court at the stand – unfortunately he was too busy all the time to get a minute to grab him for a chat – hopefully next year Neil!
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Appsflyer recently raised $7m and here they were with their app tracking and analytics service.

appszoom is an Android appstore and also offers some advertising services which they were showing off here

Another app discovery service, AppTurbo have managed to avoid unwanted attention from Apple and appear to be thriving !

One of the growing number of Alternative Android App Stores and also offering marketing services for developers

A white label DSP – not really sure what their positioning was as didn’t get a chance to talk

One of the original mobile ad networks and apparently still going strong!
buzz city

Criteo/ ADX
Online retargeting company Criteo recently acquired the app tracking service AD-X and they lead with this product at the show.

One of the app tracking services out there – didn’t manage to catch up with them.

Nexage is positioned as the premium ad server out there targeting the big publishers and with the mopub acquisition they are one of the key independent mobile ad exchanges

Opera Mediaworks
Opera has been hoovering up ad networks and mobile ad companies for a while and most recently one of the South America mobile ad networks – so they ended up with a couple of booths at the show hastily rebranded as Opera Mediaworks.
opera mediaworks

The online SSP  PubMatic were here showing they know mobile … they have been recruiting some people with mobile experience so that may well be true.

Another online SSP moving into mobile – one thing I would say is that if they come to mobile events they should have a bit more mobile-related stand branding etc as they did look rather generic

One of the mobile ad networks still doing business  in a number of different markets via their Sofialys and Aditic brands

App focused ad network based in Israel and here they were at mobile world congress – for some reason we didn’t manage to catch up with them though

Supersonic Ads
They offer incentivised ads mainly for the mobile games market – similar to something like TapJoy and do lots of rich media and that kind of thing – again they’ve come past the radar so nice to talk to them and find out more about it.
supersonic ads

Surikate is one of a number of great french companies operating in mobile ads – they now seem to have hooked up in some way with a new brand Numbate – didn’t manage to get the low down on that yet.

An american company offering retargeting solutions – one of the first to really focus whole-heartedly on this area
tap commerce

One of the more established app advertising companies and here they were with the usual bright red stand – they normally have nice pens and things to give away but I didn’t see any this year.

Taptica are a mobile advertising network – still not worked out exactly how they are positioned but I think its something to do with Lat Am or a specific regional market

Urban Airship
The original engagement/ notifications specialists and here they were at mobile world congress.
urban airship
So that’s it for another year.  All in all it looks like mobile advertising and app marketing at Mobile World Congress is in Rude Health!  If you think we’ve missed anyone out shout in the comments!