MoPub on Ensuring Supply Quality in Programmatic Advertising

Learn more about header bidding, fighting fraud on the supply side and other initiatives driving transparency in programmatic advertising, in our latest Q&A with MoPub

Jampp Team

March 12, 2020

We work with a number of select supply partners to secure higher visibility and control over campaign performance across User Acquisition and App Retargeting. With Jampp’s Supply Takeover series, we discuss where the industry is going, existing challenges and upcoming trends.

Meet MoPub

We interviewed Amy Auranicky, Sr Strategic Partnerships Manager at MoPub, to learn more about header bidding, fighting fraud on the supply side and other initiatives driving transparency in programmatic advertising.

Thanks for chatting with us, why don’t you start by telling us a bit about MoPub and what sets your solution apart from other SSPs?

MoPub is a Twitter company and operates the leading in-app real-time exchange, MoPub Marketplace. Our scale is massive, reaching over 1.41 billion unique devices and more than 55,000 apps globally. Importantly, MoPub is 100% direct-to-publisher, which provides increased transparency for optimization and insights; maximizes efficiency and ROI; and helps create positive experiences for the end user.
While many exchanges specialize in a few ad formats and sizes, MoPub offers advertisers with a robust variety of formats (including native, video, and rich media such as playables) enabling marketers to reach global audiences with different types of engaging experiences. In addition, MoPub takes supply quality extremely seriously and has industry-leading partnerships with Pixalate, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Moat (Oracle), and The Media Trust, in order to combat invalid traffic (IVT), measure viewability, and ensure creative quality. Finally, being a part of the Twitter family means that MoPub enjoys shared resources across highly robust infrastructure, privacy, and data protection that puts users first with unbiased objectivity.

This year, you’ve hosted and taken part in a number of events related to the app marketing landscape. Is there any upcoming event/event series you’ve got planned for 2020?

MoPub’s Marketer Program is a team of internal experts who focus on helping marketers maximize their programmatic investments through hands-on support and sharing best practices. Last year, we launched our Thought Exchange video series, a monthly talk show-style educational video series for marketers. Each episode interviews mobile programmatic experts and covers a variety of hot industry topics around mobile marketing and user acquisition.

You can check out the series here; there are several episodes out already and we’ll be releasing more this year, including a deep dive into marketing in LATAM. (Want to be featured on the series? Let us know!)

As a global company, you offer inventory across different geos, do you see any regional or vertical trends worth highlighting?

It’s no surprise that gaming continues to see strong growth in the mobile app space. From a supply perspective, the amount of new games coming into the app stores over other categories is much greater. There’s such a variety in mobile games that they offer something for everyone, and today attract audiences of all demographics and regions — making this inventory a great place for marketers to reach their target audiences.

In addition, mobile games lend themselves very well to interesting ad formats like rewarded video, which sees high completion rates as well as providing a great experience for users. (In fact, we hear from our publishers that users actually request to see more rewarded video ads in games.)

Source: MoPub Data 2019

You were among the first to implement header bidding, what new challenges does it bring to the table? How do you think it will change the future of the mobile app industry?
MoPub believes the mainstay of the waterfall in mobile in-app mediation is primed for disruption. The goal is similar to that of header bidding in the desktop world - to give all demand partners (DSPs and ad networks) an equal opportunity to bid on an impression. This is particularly meaningful to our DSP partners who will be able to access new subsets of inventory because networks or other demand sources were set up as 'first look' guarantees above the exchange or predicated on historical CPMs.

More broadly speaking, MoPub’s Advanced Bidding solution is designed to benefit all ecosystem players by:

  • Enabling DSPs to access supply that they would not have seen previously by evolving the antiquated ad waterfall that is operationally inefficient for publishers.
  • Helping DSPs to reach a broader base of users that span across earlier stages of the in-app journey.
  • Helping advertisers to achieve campaign objectives and improve campaign performance.

Advanced Bidding improves upon the waterfall structure by enabling publishers to set up networks as bidders to compete with the MoPub Marketplace. Anytime networks are bidding, DSPs buying on Marketplace will also receive ad requests from these supply sources. This is an important step in establishing a more impartial and open auction, where publishers are offering every ad opportunity to multiple demand sources (including the MoPub Marketplace) at the same time. As the waterfall flattens, and all ads are transacted through real-time bidding, DSPs will get access to supply they wouldn’t previously have seen. This process gives publishers and buyers proof and confidence that auctions are won and run fairly and transparently for all involved parties.

Do you feel header bidding has been widely adopted or are publishers still catching up to this trend?

Adoption of in-app header bidding has definitely increased significantly over the last couple of years. We have experienced this first hand from various partners and clients within the ecosystem. Ad networks are putting more resources in accelerating their efforts in integration especially with MoPub’s Advanced Bidding. In addition to Facebook Audience Network, AdColony, and TapJoy, integration efforts are being made currently to expand participation with Mintegral and Verizon Media. There are a handful of others who aim to be fully integrated by H2.

On the supply side, MoPub has seen 4x and 13x increases in publisher adoption and total revenue transacted via Advanced Bidding in 2019, respectively, and we expect continued growth throughout 2020. In-app bidding has become a reality and we encourage publishers to adopt it quickly in order to avoid missing out on the benefits, such as up to a 45% increase in ARPDAU.

How do you fight fraud on your end?

Traffic quality is a top priority for MoPub, our publishers, our DSP partners, and of course the advertisers running campaigns through our exchange. We strive to eliminate invalid traffic on our exchange through a comprehensive, multi-step approach.

  • Publisher vetting: Twitter’s global Policy Operations team vets the IVT risk of every prospective publisher who wishes to participate in MoPub’s ad exchange by leveraging Pixalate’s Media Ratings Terminal, in addition to manual checks of app store listings and user reviews.
  • Pre-bid IVT blocking: MoPub’s ad server is integrated with Pixalate’s Threat Intelligence data feeds to automatically scan every ad call to our exchange and block Media Ratings Councildefined types of general and sophisticated IVT.
  • Post-bid IVT detection: DoubleVerify and Pixalate directly monitor post-bid impression samples across regions and ad formats to detect any potential supply-side threat signals, such as malicious IP addresses or user agents, spoofed bundle IDs, etc.
  • Investigation & policy enforcement: Analytics dashboards flag potential IVT to Twitter’s Policy Operations team for further investigation. Publishers found to be in violation of MoPub’s policies are subject to enforcement actions in accordance with MoPub’s policies, which may include suspension from the exchange.

As fraudsters continue to evolve their tactics, MoPub will also continue to evolve our approach; we understand how crucially important this issue is for our customers.

App-ads.txt and sellers.json were designed to fight fraud, but all that glitters is not gold. Are there any drawbacks to these tactics? How do you think it affects the in-app landscape?

With transparency continuing to be one of the top industry concerns, we do believe app-ads.txt will help create a trusted environment for in-app ad buying and selling. We’re seeing app-ads.txt adoption rates of 80%+ for our managed published, which shows publishers do understand the benefit of providing more transparency to marketers. In fact, we believe publisher adoption will keep growing as DSPs continue to enforce the use of app-ads.txt. Education on the importance of these industry initiatives and why they matter to advertisers, especially brand marketers, is critical in driving adoption.
While both apps-ads.txt and seller.json attempt to provide more transparency to marketers and DSPs, our industry needs to continue to make efforts such as these to drive full transparency and build deeper trust.

Wrapping Up

Programmatic advertising allows mobile marketers to scale with better performance and higher transparency 📊. If you have any questions about real-time bidding or how programmatic app marketing can drive incremental revenue for your app, get in touch!

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