The future of in-app bidding adoption amidst post-IDFA changes

Insights Aug 04, 2020

Supply Takeover #6 — Meet Fyber

With Jampp’s Supply Takeover series, we share insights into our partnerships and the inner workings of mobile programmatic. For this edition, we interviewed Yoni Argaman, SVP Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Fyber, to hear their take on the state of the industry.

Thanks for chatting with us! Why don't you start by telling us about what publishers can do with Fyber and what sets Fyber apart?

Thanks for having us. To answer your question, Fyber’s roots and unique DNA enables it to offer a superior programmatic solution that not only allows publishers to maximize their yield from ads in their properties, but also provides accurate, real-time data that empowers them to do much more in other, non-monetization areas, such as user acquisition and user experience.

In addition, Fyber is independent. It is one of the only players that does not run and/or invested in businesses that compete with the business of its clients, does not have an inherent bias that comes with having an in-house network, and provides the highest levels of transparency.

We have seen that three things differentiate our programmatic solution from that of our competitors—our auction is a real-time auction that gives all buyers an equal chance to compete on every impression, our unique mix of brand and performance buyers, and our unprecedented level of transparency.

Earlier this year, you hosted an intimate event Fyber Next in Cancun. Is there another Fyber Next you've got planned for 2020?

Yes, the Fyber Next event in Cancun, like the Fyber Next events we hosted in 2019, was a big success. Last year, we decided to turn it into our signature event as we felt that the format balanced educational sessions with fun activities and was generating a lot of value for our clients. We planned to host our biggest Fyber Next event yet, in Portugal this June, but had to postpone it due to the circumstances. While we are still hopeful about hosting an event this year, I feel that the next Fyber Next event will probably be held in 2021.

In the meantime, we plan to host a few exciting digital events in the second half of this year. Our team in China just attended the ChinaJoy conference at the end of July—so things are very slowly opening up. Adapting to the COVID-19 era with the challenges it presents to events and collaboration like this also introduced a set of opportunities and an interesting rhythm in which we can now engage with our colleagues around the world—we’re staying positive!

You regularly post insightful articles in the Fyber Blog, can you tell us a bit more about the content you’re focusing on this 2020?

Over the years, we were successful in building and maintaining a large community around the blog, and I credit this to Scott Reyburn, the original creator of the blog. We achieved this by offering mostly long-form pieces that provided in-depth educational experiences.

This year, we tried to also offer shorter form content that is released more frequently and we find the combination to be engaging and helpful for our readers. We want to be part of the many excellent conversations in our industry right now.

For example, we recently shared our own take on the post-IDFA era and the opportunities it entails, case studies with our partners Coda Platform and Scanner Radio, and more.

We also see great value in collaborations like this one, that really make our community special—it is so great to be invited to the Jampp blog.

You enabled video inventory last year, do you have any insights to share about this format?

Up until last year, our Marketplace was known as a strong banner platform. In the last year or so, we invested heavily in adding and improving the support of full-screen units, especially video. This investment enabled us to improve our publisher partners’ ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) from video by 5-20% and become one of their top demand sources. This success led to video being a prominent growth engine for us this year, and we continue to scale and receive tremendous feedback from our partners.

Video advertising in the mobile gaming environment is thriving because the format just makes sense. In the end, it boils down to user experience, and this format is more native to the environment, more beautiful and engaging, and also provides real value to the users; value that is tied to the game. All we did was to enable more buyers who want to buy this format to compete on a level playing field.

Do you have any upcoming product developments you can tell us about in the sell/buy side?

Looking at the market in light of Apple’s IDFA announcement, we realized contextual targeting will become a more dominant practice in a programmatic app environment. We are already offering contextual targeting parameters that can potentially unlock tremendous value for our partners in the post-IDFA era.

On the Fyber FairBid side, we recently introduced some exciting updates. Multi-variant testing, which is the evolution of A/B testing, with up to 5 variates set in a single test. Reporting recently received a serious upgrade with App Performance and Demand Performance dynamic reports; this enables a closer and deeper look into success metrics and easily pairs up with the new multi-variant testing capabilities.

Our new Marketplace SDK version now fully supports Playables and Rewarded Playables. These full-screen, interactive ads that give users a mini-preview of an app and help discover high-intent users who are interested in an app.

On our Offer Wall front, we just released a platform for advertisers called ACP Edge. Essentially, this advertiser control panel allows advertisers to easily adjust their bids according to the quality of the results generated by each country and source—all under a single campaign. This flexible and easy-to-use micro-bidding technology has already produced an increase of 40% in CTR and 36% in conversion rates for beta users.

You were among the first to implement header bidding, what new challenges does it bring to the table?

We saw the header bidding revolution sweep the web environment in 2015 and we were determined to help lead the mobile app advertising to a parallel, unified auction which is much more efficient. We launched Fyber FairBid especially with this in mind, and we believe that it was the first product to make in-app bidding a reality.

One of the inherent challenges of being first to introduce a marketplace technology that constitutes such a leap is the dependency on a wide adoption from players from both sides of the marketplace, which requires substantial education. Especially when such players are so used to the waterfall model, which they keep investing in and optimizing. While the shift proved to be slower than anticipated, it is understandable.

We believe that this is just the beginning and, in the near future, most of the ads in the app environment will be traded programmatically, in a real-time auction environment.

Do you feel 2020 is the year that publishers catch up to this trend?

Yes, we feel that while 2019 was a slow year for the adoption of the technology, 2020 is the year where app bidding is starting to gain substantial grounds.

With much evidence, produced by different players, that bidding produces better yield, while significantly improving operational efficiencies, more publishers and buyers are now convinced that bidding is the future. Many moved from testing the technology to implementing it on a growing part of their business.

The opportunity to move to a mediation environment that is more efficient, automated, accurate, transparent and yields higher revenues is where we are heading—and while some of the transition away from the waterfall is proving to take longer than expected, the direction is clear.

We’ve found that the conversation moved from “is bidding really better than the waterfall?” to more advanced conversations about the change that the programmatic environment brings to the ability to understand and act on accurate user-level data. While the de-facto deprecation of the IDFA will definitely affect this conversation, we believe that it is here to stay.

What are some of the advantages programmatic advertising brings to the table when compared to ad networks?

Unlike ad networks that provide non-committal estimates, programmatic allows DSPs and bidders to provide accurate, committed prices in real-time. The identity of the buyer remains transparent, along the advertiser behind the buyer and the various fees. The growing combination of automation and transparency across the value chain will add a lot of efficiency, trust, and comfort to both buyers and sellers. This will significantly promote the entire field of advertising in apps.

Integrations with third-party players such as DMPs drive a more efficient buying process based on bidding and optimization. Bidders can enrich their supply stream and buyers can tailor audiences to their goals. The ability to bid on each and every impression while continuously getting data and optimizing based on it makes the buying process efficient, maximizing revenue for our partners.

Wrapping Up

We strongly believe programmatic is the best channel for apps looking to scale, leveraging higher transparency, and far more granular insights 📊. If you have any questions about real-time bidding or how programmatic advertising can drive incremental revenue for your app, get in touch with us!