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Aerserv announced programmatic access to its high-quality mobile video advertising inventory today. The move will enable brands to buy mobile video via real-time automated bidding, just like many already buy lower-quality display advertising.

That’s a relatively new opportunity.

big-data-programmatic-ss-1920-800x449While programmatic or automated real-time bidding and buying of ads has made huge inroads into lower-value display advertising on mobile and the web, it’s taken longer to hit premium inventory like video. In fact, some suppliers of premium inventory, like Zepto Labs, makers of the hugely popular “Cut the Rope” and “King of Thieves” games, only sell their inventory directly.

That’s changing, however, and a few brands — Nestle is one example — have made commitments to buy all or almost all its ads via programmatic, which has led to what should total $15 billion in web programmatic in 2015, and increasing mobile penetration as well.


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“In response to ever-increasing demand for mobile RTB, we have been focused on ramping up our programmatic offerings,” said AerServ CEO Josh Speyer in a statement. This will “enable efficient programmatic buying of high quality mobile and mobile video ad inventory at scale,” he added.

Native video advertising player Virool already enables this via Rubicon Project’s RTB platform. AdColony, a leader in premium mobile video advertising, has said that it will at some point enter the programmatic arena as well. Beachfront Media and SourceKnowledge have also enabled mobile video RTB.

The driver for all this? The exploding mobile advertising opportunity.

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Billions of mobile users have downloaded over 350 billion apps to date, and spend 80 to 90 percent of their three daily hours-on-device in apps, as we detailed in VB’s recent brands and mobile advertising report. Time on mobile devices grew 76 percent in 2014, and that trend shows no signs of stopping, as more than a fifth of all millennials in the U.S. now access the Internet primarily via their mobile devices.

That’s leading to massive growth.

This year, mobile advertising spend will hit $51 billion. By 2019, it’ll hit $105 billion … mostly because brands and “traditional” companies are joining the mobile gaming and mobile-first startups in advertising online.

Increasingly, they’re starting to buy inventory in mobile games — which they’ve tended to avoid in the past — and other mobile apps. And mobile video advertising is clearly one of the most compelling and effective mobile advertising methods, both in performance and branding campaigns.

“Anyone’s who’s doing video is savvy about mobile,” performance advertising platform S4M’s general manager Richard Cacciato told VentureBeat recently. “It’s being used particularly in the entertainment and automotive industries.”

AerServ’s offering is enabled by RTB platform BidSwitch, and is purchaseable via digital marketing and advertising firm MediaMath.

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