OpenX launches mobile-first native ad exchange

Native O|X allows developer and publishers to apply programmatic buying to native ads

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 26, 2014
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It's no secret where advertising is quickly heading: first, it is going mobile, but you could have guessed that. I mean everything is going mobile these days. On top of that, it is going programmatic, or real-time. And, third, it is going native, a.k.a. ads that fit into apps and games organically.

There are good reasons for these trends, mostly that they are good ways for advertisers and brands to save money, and to have more control over content. 

Now ad tech company OpenX has launched a new ad exchange, which combines all three of these trends. Called Native O|X, the company calls it "the first global, Real-Time Bidding (RTB) exchange specifically for mobile-first native ads."

The exchange enables app developers and publishers to apply programmatic buying to the native in-stream ad formats. 

Programmatic buying allows advertisers to use software to buy and sell digital media, in real time, which gives them much more control over where, and how, their ads run. It’s easy to see why publishers would like this: they want their ads getting to the right people at the right time.

The industry is quickly trending in the direction of programmatic advertising. A study from back in October found that 60% of both brands and agencies plan to apply programmatic buying to their cross-screen planning and buying, including both mobile and linear TV, in the next year.

Native ads, meanwhile, are those that have some relevant context to the environment, be in app or a game or website, in which they are run. 

So, for example, a native ad could involve a publisher working directly with brands, in order to create articles that have original content, which are then promoted to the right people on social media. Or they could be an in-game advertisement for other games for the same publisher. The point is that the ads don't become intrusive and annoy people, like banner ads and display ads sometimes can,

So why is this move by OpenX important? Because allowing programmatic buying and selling of native ads is beneficial to both the developer and the brands.

For publishers they can easily create native formats, including rich media and video native ads, which they can then sell to pre-screened, premium buyers. It also gives them more control, including the ability to approve any demand sources, filter and review specific ads, and to make more money.

The buyers also benefit by getting to buy more relevant and high performing ad units, from an inventory of in-app ads that  "has not previously been available programmatically or on mobile." In addition, they also get access to rich targeting, including GPS-derived location data as well as a rich array of demographic and contextual insight.

Native O|X offers app developers and publishers access to more than 300 pre-screened, multiscreen demand partners that will have access to the available inventory.  Launch partners for the new exchange include IconApps and Tagged, demand partners RUN and mediasmart, and Celtra.

The new exchange is available immediately to qualified buyers and sellers.

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