Krishna Subramanian is Co-Founder of mobile ad exchange, Mobclix.
AdExchanger.com: Why create a mobile ad exchange? What problem are you looking to solve?
KS: Mobclix allows ad networks to reach targeted ad inventory across mobile applications. Mobclix solves a real problem mobile developers have: managing their mobile application ad inventory. One ad network alone does not have a 100 percent fill rate - low fill rates result in a loss of revenue for developers. Mobclix optimizes ad impressions on a real time basis across over 20 ad networks and 20 different optimization variables. For the first time, traditional online Web ad networks have the ability to extend their Web networks to mobile
Who's your target market in terms of advertisers and publishers?
In terms of advertisers, our target market is the ad networks themselves who then deal with advertisers. We work with the ad networks from start to finish to provide them with the support, education and access they need to close deals. Our publishers are mobile app developers. We currently work mainly with iPhone apps, but are in private beta for Android, Blackberry and Mobile Web. Right now, we represent 90 percent of the top 100 app developers on the Apple App Store.
What transparency do you offer advertisers? How much information can they see about their placements?
Advertisers can choose how to target their ads: behavioral, contextual, geographical and demographic targeting. Advertisers can cherry pick the users that will be most effective for their brand, driving higher conversions.
Can advertisers bring their own data and targeting to Mobclix inventory as they do in using demand-side platforms for PC-based display ads?
Yes. Advertisers have the opportunity to leverage not only their own parameters/information and data but to use our APIs and in-depth analytics platform to make better targeting decisions. We have the ability to pass data back and forth with the network increasing conversions, driving up ROI for advertisers and commanding higher payouts for our developers.
Do publishers or app developers push back on pain points like channel conflict by selling through an exchange like Mobclix?
Many of our developers have shared with us that they find the ad exchange model much easier for them than dealing with ad networks individually. Mobclix enables developers to activate ad networks on the fly without pushing out additional updates. Additionally, ad networks have the ability to bid on targeted inventory that developers would otherwise not have access to.
How does the Mobclix revenue model work on both the publisher and advertiser sides?
We give 100 percent of the revenues to publishers, so there is no charge to use the analytics or advertising platform. Ad network partners, however, pay a fee to participate on the exchange.
In your mind, what key hurdles have NOT been overcome yet in mobile display advertising?
Cached ads are still not perfected. There are various problems that need to be solved in terms of accountability and also the advertising action (e.g., you can't click through to a Web site if you're offline). As an industry, mobile display advertising has ways to go before it reaches the targeting potential mobile has to offer. Simply think of all the possibilities with location based advertising alone -- advertisers could target consumers when they are near their stores or near a competitor.
What's your view on the recent acquisition of AdMob by Google? Does it affect your competitive landscape?
AdMob's acquisition has generated lots of buzz and validated the mobile industry as an effective and growing marketing channel. It has increased our partners' efforts towards mobile, creating a great opportunity for all of our publishers.
Is there such a thing as brand awareness, mobile display advertising campaigns that are sold through Mobclix today?
Absolutely, our premium campaigns are often CPM-based to increase brand awareness for advertisers. Advertisers are willing to pay to get the right eyeballs and the small size of the screen means that brands will be more top of mind for the end user. At the end of the day, clicks are not the best indicator for success for any advertising campaign.