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OpenX Technologies is launching a mobile-focused native ad exchange today that it says will help developers and publishers of apps and games make a lot more money.

In an event at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, mobile monetization firm OpenX is unveiling Native O|X. The exchange uses a number of buzz words that are popular with major mobile advertising efforts these days: real-time bidding, programmatic buying, and native ads.

This basically means that the system can automatically insert ads into content, such as an app or a game, in a really fast way that makes contextual sense. So-called “native” ads are more contextual, fitting in with a particular application where it makes sense.

In a game, a native ad could be one that appears after a player completes a level. The ad could take the form of a game character popping up and asking if they would like to try another game or perhaps buy virtual goods with real money in order to accomplish something in the next stage.

Such native ads are becoming more popular because users are likely to see them as useful, rather than a nuisance. They also allow the advertiser to be more creative, building ads that fit in with the app or game.

Real-time bidding is a dynamic auction process where an advertiser bids for an impression, or the chance to show an ad to a particular user. If the advertiser’s bid is accepted in the auction process, then the user sees the ad. All of this happens in an automated fashion, so that the number ads shown can reach very high numbers. The real-time auction maximizes the value the advertiser gets out of the processing and also generates optimal revenue for a game developer or publisher that runs an ad.

OpenX’s launch partners include IconApps, Tagged, Run, Mediasmart, and Celtra.

OpenX, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based OpenX Software, says the exchange allows developers and publishers to apply the full power and scale of programmatic buying to native ad formats. The exchange is available now.

Native O|X lets premium brand advertisers bid on native ads within a private environment. The ad inventory (from the developers and publishers) is premium, which means the ads are contextually placed in apps that are supposedly engaging.

The new exchange offers application developers and publishers access to more than 300 prescreened, multiscreen demand partners (advertisers) that will have access to the available inventory. OpenX says developers and publishers can tightly control any advertising. The result is better monetization, OpenX says.

For advertisers, OpenX said its technology is valuable because it allows scalable and programmatic buying, or the capability to place a lot of ads in high-quality places very quickly. Many ads have to be purchased in a non-programmatic fashion, which is both time-consuming and often hits too small a number of users.

“As a top featured lifestyle app in the App Store, it’s critical to us to integrate advertising in a seamless way into the user experience of our app,” said Al Eisaian, founder and chief executive officer, IconApps, in a statement. “OpenX worked with us closely to iterate and design an ad experience that works as both a premium user experience as well as a high yield ad unit. We’re thrilled with the results to date and are looking forward to launching more formats soon.”

OpenX is backed by investors including Accel Partners, Index Ventures, SAP Ventures, and Samsung Venture Investment. The company launched its private mobile ad exchange in 2012.

“In speaking with OpenX buyers and sellers, it’s becoming clear that a fundamental shift is underway in mobile advertising: more than half of the effective mobile campaigns are now being delivered in a native format,” said Rob Kramer, general manager of mobile at OpenX, in a statement. “With the launch of Native O|X, we’re bringing programmatic to native and mobile. Specifically, we’re helping bridge mobile-first companies and partners who want a seamless multiscreen experience at scale, which is what they need.”


Above: OpenX

Image Credit: OpenX

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