Programmatic + Mobile study also reveals differing priorities between buyers and sellers To tweet this release, copy and paste to your Twitter handle with the hashtag #OpenXMobile


OpenX Technologies, Inc. (OpenX), a global leader in digital and mobile advertising technology, and Digiday, the leading media company and community for digital media, marketing and advertising professionals, today announced the results of a partnership to develop a State of the Industry research initiative to explore the collision of two top trends: the pervasiveness of programmatic buying and the rise of mobile advertising. The white paper that summarizes the research, Programmatic + Mobile, specifically examines buyer and seller priorities for programmatic on mobile devices.

The study makes it clear that there is strong interest by advertisers to experiment with mobile, especially native and video, and that publishers are keen to expand programmatic channels. There are, however, mismatched priorities that could slow growth in the mobile programmatic category. Buyers and sellers ascribed different levels of importance to: audience targeting capability; desired mobile formats; establishing who should be responsible for standardizing native mobile; measurement categories; and attitudes around mobile video pre-roll capabilities.

“Exploring the perspective of buyers and sellers at the intersection of programmatic and mobile is a natural progression from our Programmatic + Premium study in 2013,” said Rob Kramer, general manager, mobile, OpenX. “Mobile is the channel everyone is watching because there is so much untapped potential. Once we determine how to standardize formats, develop targeting the way we have with display, and develop tools to measure effectiveness, we’ll see significant budget shifts to mobile through programmatic. Our new study with Digiday provides very useful insights that will help propel the industry forward.”

“Consumers have overwhelmingly embraced mobile but publishers and brands still struggle to find a way to connect with them through these devices,” said Nick Friese, chief executive officer and founder, Digiday. “We’re proud to once again partner with OpenX, this time to bring insight to the development of mobile advertising. Studies like this shine a light on the tensions between brands, agencies and publishers and show us what the industry needs to do to make mobile more profitable for everyone.”

Key findings include:

  • Programmatic buying continues its forward momentum with 82 percent of sellers and 83 percent of buyers reporting their use of programmatic channels in 2013 was higher than it was in 2012. Sellers estimating revenues from such channels were 81 percent higher, while buyers estimated their spending at 55 percent higher than the year previous.
  • Both native and video formats on mobile devices are expected to see significant programmatic adoption in 2014. Buyers expect a 22 percent increase for native and 9 percent for video; sellers estimate a 19 percent increase for video and 10 percent for mobile.
  • The priority of audience targeting appears to be a key area of disconnect between buyers and sellers, with interest from the demand side double that of publisher interest in this targeting parameter, whereas publisher interest exceeds buyer interest by nearly double in terms of targeting by device.
  • More than half of buyers cite mobile banners as being the most desirable formats for programmatic mobile buying, though publishers favor this format substantially more (buyers at 56 percent, sellers at 81 percent).
  • When diving deeper into native advertising in terms of mobile, buyers and sellers recognize the format requires measurement parameters in line with the medium. However, there is disagreement on the relative importance of measurement categories with buyers placing a higher priority on conversions and time spent on content versus traditional metrics such as page views, impressions, and unique visitors, which sellers ranked twice as high in importance as buyers. The only category in which both sides appear to be in relative agreement (41 and 42 percent) is measurement of total number of social engagements.
  • Buyers and sellers differ on who should be responsible for creating standardized native ad units for programmatic channels. Forty-two percent of buyers would prefer to see a marketing association, like MMA or IAB, establish standards versus 39 percent of sellers who feel they should be responsible. Despite disagreement regarding who should take the lead, both buyers and sellers seem to agree that native ads are, by definition, custom and difficult to automate.
  • Pre-roll video appears to be a high demand format with buyers wanting to buy pre-roll video programmatically – by more than double the margin that sellers find this format desirable to automate. Publishers cite technical difficulties and a feeling that video justifies a more premium, direct-buy relationship.
  • Buying video ads on mobile via programmatic presents a challenge for both sides of the table. For buyers, a lack of robust targeting, expense, and insufficient inventory were cited as the top three reasons with sellers listing insufficient video inventory as the lead reason (55 percent) followed by insufficient advertiser demand and limited ad formats (28 and 25 percent respectively).

The survey was conducted among 478 programmatic ad buyers and sellers of digital advertising from late February and early March 2014, and was presented at Digiday’s Publishing Summit in Vail, Colo. on March 18, 2014.

Download the full white paper at:

About OpenX

OpenX is a global leader in digital and mobile advertising technology. OpenX’s vision is to unleash the full economic potential of digital media companies. OpenX solutions provide unique Software as a Service platform by combining ad serving, an ad exchange, which includes Supply Side Platform technology, and content valuation.

OpenX Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of OpenX Software Ltd., is based in Los Angeles and is backed by leading investors including Accel Partners, Index Ventures, SAP Ventures, and Samsung Venture Investment Corporation.

For more information, please visit

About Digiday

Digiday is a media company and community for digital media, marketing and advertising professionals. We focus on quality, not quantity, and honesty instead of spin. We cover the industry with an expertise, depth and tone you won’t find anywhere else. The Digiday team strives to produce the highest quality publications, conferences, and resources for our industry.

The Digiday website ( is our content hub. We support that with our email newsletters: Digiday Daily and Digiday Brands. Our multi-day, destination events include the Digiday Exchange Summit, the Digiday Publishing Summit, the Digiday Agency Summit, the Digiday Innovation Summit, the Digiday Brand Summit, the Digiday Brand Summit – Retailer. Our half-day breakfast forums include Digiday Video Upfront Breakfast, Digiday’s Programmatic Advertising Breakfast and the Digiday Mobile Breakfast. Our awards programs are the Digiday Awards, the Digiday Video Awards, the Digiday Publishing Awards, the Sammy Awards (social) and the Mobis (mobile). At Digiday Content Studio, we help businesses and brands find a voice that connects with your customers. As trained journalists, editors and strategists, we know what stories resonate with people and how to tell them effectively. We use editorial, audio, video and more to tell your story across media and in a way that meets Digiday’s high editorial standards.

Al Duncan, 1-626-466-1142