And even though Amobee performs services that are similar to a mobile ad network, Healy insists that is not the right label. The Redwood City, Calif. company sees itself as “more like a digital marketing company like Adobe than AdMob or Millennial Media,” according to Healy. “We work with a lot of those guys in placing orders on their network to get inventory, but we’re not a digital ad network or a mobile ad network,” he said.
Finding an effective way to leverage mobile advertising is still a challenge for many companies. Mobile ad networks like Augme, Velti and Millennial Media have struggled to turn a profit while mobile publishers like Facebook and Twitter, which can sell inventory directly to advertisers, are taking a bigger slice of ad revenue.
IDC analyst Karsten Weide noted in an April report that, “mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers and we expect them to lose even more going forward.”
Even as it distances itself from mobile ad networks, Amobee faces stiff competition from ad tech firms like mobile DSPs that are carving out their own space, as well as companies that control huge swaths of inventory like Amazon, Facebook and Google.