Velti Launches Mobile Ad Exchange

Mobile marketing technology provider Velti has launched a mobile ad exchange, based largely on assets it acquired through the purchase of Mobclix in September.

The marketplace, dubbed mGage, pools inventory from Mobclix’s network of 15,000 app and website publisher partners, alongside impressions from Chinese mobile exchange CASEE, in which Velti is an investor. Over 11 billion impressions are already flowing through the platform on a monthly basis, the company said.

In addition mGage provides white label exchanges through which publishers, agencies, networks, and media companies can create private marketplaces to trade media. The company says over 100 premium publishers have already created exchanges to sell to their agency customers in a more automated fashion, and expects to double that number by the end of the year.

Speaking with ClickZ News, Velti CEO Alex Moukas suggested the platform would help media owners overcome the channel conflicts that often exist between their own direct sales efforts and partner ad networks.

“Publishers can define their own strategic inventory, and then take their remnant and find dedicated customers for it through the exchange. It becomes another strategic sales channel without conflicts,” he explained.

Moukas declined to reveal which publishers have already created their own private exchanges, but among the first agencies to establish one is Draftfcb, which is using the platform to run and optimize campaigns in both the U.S. and China.

“Just as the exchange gives publishers the opportunity to easily move inventory around and sell through different channels, it allows the buyer to do the same thing. Advertisers can see in real-time how a campaign is performing and shift buys around,” he said. “Were the first to do this but I’m sure we won’t be the last. We’re the first that has the scale to pull this together.”

In the online space exchange-based media buying is accelerating rapidly, and companies are now attempting to translate that phenomenon to mobile. Microsoft and RIM both announced the launch of mobile exchanges for inventory on their respective mobile platforms late last year, and various demand-side platforms have launched mobile functionalities.

Elsewhere in the mobile space, companies such as Tapad are experimenting with new technologies such as device fingerprinting to drive exchange-based buying decisions, tying detailed behavioral data sets to mobile devices to improve targeting and tracking capabilities.

Potential competitor Ringleader Digital has also licensed its technology to Microsoft, which is likely experimenting with the technology in conjunction with its own exchange.

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