Posted by James Coops, September 5, 2011
When admob first launched it was an absolute revelation for mobile publishers. For the first time there was a way of monetising mobile web inventory that didn’t involve selling ringtones or other mobile content. Admob went on to totally dominate the first wave of mobile advertising, launching innovation after innovation.
However, since it was acquired by Google there is no doubt that things have slowed down. The key admob founders Omar Hamoui and Russel Buckley left a while ago and it seems that google has focused on integrating admob into their systems rather than developing new products. In fact admob has been shutting down services – first admob analytics went and now Google have announced that admob will no longer support mobile web ads, and will just focus on in-app advertising on iphone and android.
This is at a time when mobile web, powered by HTML5 has never had better growth prospects. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that admob is no longer the force it once was in the market. So where is innovation happening?
Enter Vienna-based mobfox. Whilst there are lots of mobile advertising networks out there in the market right now, no-one is moving as quickly or as rapidly as mobfox. They are doing the types of things that admob used to do – running way ahead of the market and out-innovating the competition. What’s even more amazing is that mobfox is very much an under-the-radar mobile ad network – they’ve not raised lots of VC funding but are quietly building a massive network with 5bn impressions a month already. The list of product development over the last year includes:
- a mobile ad server that integrates mobfox and multiple other mobile ad networks in a single solution and allows direct selling of mobile ads by publishers or developers – this is the type of thing US players like Burstly have raised big rounds of funding to achieve
- eCPM control – the ability for publishers to set floor limits to their inventory
- Open-ads a mobile ad buying interface that provides direct access to their network
- support for ipad and other tablets
Most recently mobfox just announced a bunch of new improvements
to their mobile ad offering including demographic targeting, new ad units and conversion tracking.
Individually, these innovations may not be anything special and other networks like inmobi, jumptap, adfonic and so on are also launching new features all the time. But, the speed in which mobfox is innovating, the types of things they are doing and the way they can achieve this without millions in funding points to something much more exciting than these other networks. Time will tell but having analyzed mobile advertising for some years now, I really think these guys are the ones to watch.