Mobile real-time bidding may still be an emerging technology but the vendor landscape is already crowded. As platforms with similar features and functionalities continue to pile up, uncovering a reliable solution gets increasingly difficult. For PC and mobile game developer Aeria Games, simplicity and the ability to quickly scale campaigns were key differentiators.
“If you’ve heard of them, we’ve tried them,” said Ryan Leach, senior marketing manager of Aeria Games’ mobile division. “We’ve worked with W3i (now NativeX), AdMob, TapJoy, and a lot more.” Early this year, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company experimented with the recently launched startup RTB.com (a subsidiary of Manage.com). The results have so far exceeded the company’s expectations, Leach noted.
“With many others, what we’ve seen is you get good traffic in the beginning and then it starts to falter, but with RTB.com, we’ve seen very good traffic since January that’s still monetizing very well.” When Aeria’s traffic showed signs of slowing down, the RTB.com team “was very proactive in saying ‘let’s look at publisher IDs, let’s try new creative and ad copy,’” Leach said.
Another plus: the “realistic” estimates that RTB.com gives Aeria when it sets CPI caps. “We can say, we want to do $4 for the US and $3 for the UK and a lot of networks will [promise you] thousands of installs a day which is total BS,” Leach maintained. “Whereas RTB.com will tell us if you do $3 US, we can probably give you 200 installs a day, but if you go up to $4 that number goes to 275. Their estimations are good.”
RTB.com also scored points for its easy-to-read dashboard and the ability to target campaigns by country and devices. In terms of improvements, Leach said he would like to see more cohort analysis tools to get better insight into the ads’ retention rates and other metrics. “That’s something they’re probably working on,” he added.
Advanced reporting and targeting tools are indeed areas that RTB.com plans to develop, said founder and CEO Fred Hsu. “We’re going to double down on targeting capabilities by building out our data warehouse and improving the end-to-end quality of our platform,” Hsu said. Illustrating the growth in mobile RTB, Hsu claimed the company is close to reaching an "eight-figure run rate,” which it expects to triple during the next six months.
“We see RTB growing at a bend,” Hsu said. “There are some naysayers who talk about it being a race to the bottom but as evidenced by The Weather Channel, Hearst and Fox, which have embraced real-time bidding on websites, it’s a no-brainer to embrace the same type of model going into mobile RTB.”
Based in San Francisco, RTB.com serves nearly 100 customers, which include Living Social and the booking app Hotel Tonight, with approximately 30 employees. Prior to RTB.com, Hsu founded the performance marketing network Oversee.