Nexage to Run Private Mobile Ad Exchange

Nexage will launch a private mobile exchange to let its premium publishers select which advertisers can see — and buy — their mobile inventory.

The Nexage Exchange, announced today, will allow publishers and app developers to narrow the field of advertisers already bidding on Nexage’s RTB platform.

“The bidders are integrated into our platform and constantly looking,” says Ernie Cormier, CEO and president of Nexage. When using Nexage Exchange, “The publisher can say, ‘I only want this six set of bidders to even see my inventory,’ and then we manage that for them.”

The company reports that its RTB bidding platform is now handling more than 12 billion monthly impressions, with bid volumes growing at more than 71 percent per month. Nexage says its revenues are growing at more than 70 percent per month.

The exchange will help publishers with direct sales forces avoid channel conflicts, the company says, or even use the exchange to augment direct sales.

Because Nexage works with only a couple hundred premium publishers, Cormier says, there’s not a specific date on which Nexage Exchange will go live. Instead, the exchange setup is manual and set in motion by the account person for each publisher. “This is part of what we bring them to monetize their inventory. It’s an evolution of our platform, and very different than if you were a platform serving a lot of small publishers in an automated way,” he says.

Nexage faces a formidable competitor in Google, which just got the green light to absorb Admeld.

Last week, Admeld said it had added USA Today to the list of customers for its private ad networks; the customer roster also powers private exchanges for Conde Nast, NBCUniversal, Answers.com, FOX News, IDG TechNetwork, Discovery and The Weather Channel.

Admeld also provides the backend for Q, the private ad exchange formed in February by the New York Times Co., Hearst, Tribune and Gannett.

The USA Today client announcement came just days after the U.S. Department of Justice approved Google’s acquisition of Admeld.

And, of course, Google also has fully integrated mobile ad network AdMob into its borg of ad tech offerings. While the ad behemoth has not announced any private mobile ad networks yet, Cormier thinks it’s inevitable that Google will create a mobile exchange.

But he says he’s not worried.

In fact, Cormier says, Nexage Exchange was created with APIs that will let other mobile ad exchanges tie into its system.

“In the evolution of online advertising, there are three or four large exchanges and a number of smaller ones, so we don’t see why mobile would be any different,” Cormier says. “Google will be there. We made product decisions in opening our APIs that assume there will be other exchanges. We will even support exchange-to-exchange.”

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