Tech Talk with MoPub: Driving scale with standardized measurement

IAS talks to MoPub about the value of OM SDK adoption

07/16 By IAS Team

As technology and trends evolve to keep consumers interested and engaged, mobile usage continues to grow. eMarketer estimates that, on average, U.S. adults will spend more than 4 hours on mobile internet, and 88% of that time is spent in-app. Mobile apps are being developed and released at a rapid rate, and this makes it difficult for publishers to provide premium inventory for their clients. MoPub, a Twitter company, is a mobile monetization platform that powers revenue for app publishers around the world and provides buyers with access to high quality mobile supply across the globe. IAS connected with Michal Jacobsberg-Reiss, leader of MoPub’s Global Ecosystem Partnerships Team, to discuss the ins and outs of switching over to the Open Measurement SDK.

Q: Why did MoPub find it important to switch over to the OM SDK? 

A: For the last several years, MoPub has been working towards simplifying how mobile app ads are transacted. In 2017, MoPub launched viewability measurement with IAS and Moat. Our adoption of the Open Measurement SDK represents the next phase in bringing even more transparency to advertisers in the mobile app world, by offering a standardized IAB Tech Lab certified platform for viewability measurement. This effort, along with our move to a first price auction and our continued leadership in the app bidding evolution demonstrates our commitment to creating a fair and transparent app ads ecosystem for buyers and sellers. Lastly, one of our senior product managers, Brad Beal, was involved in the IAB Tech Lab OM SDK working group from inception. We wholeheartedly believe this initiative is foundational to how the mobile ecosystem will work in years to come, and we’re thrilled to be joining forces together to define and solve problems for both buyers and sellers. 

Q: What are some of the issues that MoPub has seen with regard to unstandardized measurement in the in-app space for SSPs? 

A:  If we think about where MoPub sits in the ecosystem as a leading marketplace, connecting publishers, demand-side platforms, and buyers, I would say that the lack of standardized measurements and the number of different SDKs provided by vendors is top of mind. We recognize that there are dozens of measurement vendors out there and with that a multitude of proprietary measurement SDKs. This creates a great burden on app developers who need to keep up to date with this wide array of SDKs, and creates variability in viewability coverage. For publishers, this means heavier apps, scalability issues, and quality issues that could impact the end-user experience. 

Ultimately the goal of the viewability measurement is to instill trust in the buy-side, but with the level of variability in coverage and multitude of SDKS come discrepancies and data that is not as accurate as one might hope for. I would say that viewability 1.0 was a step in the right direction, but frankly, OM SDK is really what’s going to bring that level of scalability and quality that advertisers are looking for. With OM SDK, buyers on the MoPub exchange will get access to high quality, measurable, viewable inventory across the +1.5 billion unique devices that we reach. All they need to do is tag their ad creatives with a pixel from the OM SDK vendor they have agreements with.

Q: What do apps (publishers) that use MoPub need to do to support OM SDK?

A:  For publishers, inclusion of the OM SDK inspires trust and transparency among brands buying in-app supply. The validation of this industry standard will show advertisers that they are reaching a real, engaged, and measurable audience through mobile apps. More measurable inventory will help publishers and monetization platforms frame their supply offering as high-quality. Additionally, this standard eliminates time-consuming and costly custom integrations of measurement vendors’ SDKs. My best tip for publishers is to stay tuned for the official release of the MoPub SDK containing the OM SDK currently scheduled for late Q3-early Q4 and integrate it. As soon as they adopt that SDK, they will be able to take advantage of the OM functionality seamlessly and without any extra overhead and be ready for measurement by any vendor that supports the IAB Tech Lab OM framework.

Q: What are some of the challenges you see facing SSPs right now? What are some steps you are taking to mitigate these challenges?

A:  This year, MoPub will be celebrating 10 years of helping publishers grow their app business. We are one of the only players in-market that operates solely in the mobile in-app space. Mobile-first is at the heart of how we think, what we do, and how we build products. We have observed again and again over the last couple of years that there’s a fair amount of education needed to explain the differences between operating on mobile in-app vs. mobile web or desktop;  what might work on desktop does not always translate to mobile in-app. 

At MoPub we have that knowledge, and when we approached initiatives like solving for header bidding in the app world, we embraced the differences and hit them head-on. Our version of header bidding, called Advanced Bidding, was designed specifically for the in-app space; it’s led to up to 44% increase in publisher ARPDAU and helped DSPs reach sought-after inventory. This is especially valuable to help advertisers hit their campaign targets and build that trust in mobile app inventory. 

Q: What would you like to see next from the Open Measurement Working Group?

A: Getting the best minds in the industry across measurement vendors such as IAS, key ad platforms, and publishers to work together on cracking the OM SDK really shined a light on what the industry can achieve when combining forces. I think that the next frontier where this sort of collaboration can be fruitful is tackling the challenges of invalid traffic and fraud.

Q: Mobile in-app is growing exponentially and forecasted to gain even more momentum, what innovations would you like to see coming to the in-app space? 

A:  Consumers continue to spend more time on their mobile phones, especially in apps. In addition, OTT/CTV usage is also exponentially growing. As people’s usage of mobile apps has grown, advertisers have more opportunities to reach them where they spend the most time. If you are not spending on mobile in-app you are going to miss out on high-value conversion opportunities and the chance to reach your audience where they’re spending much of their time. But with that comes workflows complexities for advertisers that need to think through planning and spending budgets across multiple channels, and having to measure ROAS is more complicated than ever. Multi-touch attribution is still a conundrum in my mind. Cracking that problem at scale could really move the needle for advertisers. 

About: Michal Jacobsberg-Reiss runs MoPub’s Global Ecosystem Partnerships Team, advancing MoPub’s commercial and product Initiatives through business development of partnerships and alliances across ad revenue, marketing outcomes measurements, health & brand safety, and inventory targeting. Michal joined Twitter in 2017 as part of MoPub’s product team. Prior to joining Twitter, Michal was a product lead at Electronic Arts, as well as a first Product Manager at an education technology start-up. Her 10+ years of product experience spans monetization, data, and analytics, ads, acquisition, and payments.  Michal holds an M.Sc. from the Weizmann Institute of Science and an MBA from the University of Michigan. You can connect with her on Twitter @itsmjrinc.