Q and A with Ernie Cormier, CEO & President of Nexage

Nexage, the leading mobile advertising real-time bidding (RTB) provider, announced last week that it has been selected by Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds™, to monetize and enhance advertising relevance for Rovio’s popular game on Android™ and Apple® iPhone® . AdMonsters spoke with Ernie Cormier, CEO & President of Nexage, regarding what this partnership means for both parties.



Q. What challenges will Nexage face in helping Rovio drive ad revenue performance on their games?

We will face two primary challenges; both of which we are solving and believe we can continue to solve as Rovio grows at such a meteoric pace.  

The first challenge is bringing the market to them.  Nexage brings over 70 demand sources, representing an extraordinary range and number of advertisers and advertising campaigns.  We also serve 200 publishers and 600 sites on a global basis.  This combination equals an increasingly efficient and liquid market. Right now we have over 8 billion impressions per month, and that number is growing rapidly.  All of our customers benefit from this liquidity, including Rovio.   We need to continue to bring—and grow—this market to Rovio.

The second challenge is, now that we have brought the market to Rovio, how do we give Rovio the best opportunity and tools to gain ad relevance to their fans.  This challenge is so important to us because Rovio is incredibly passionate about pleasing their fans.  We address this challenge by enabling Rovio to provide non-PII targeting information for more relevant ads to a globally diverse and dispersed fan base – such that ads have meaning to each fan.  We do this while keeping consumer privacy as a priority in our business – in fact, consumer privacy was a central design principle in how we built our technology.  The key word in this is enablement, as we give Rovio the opportunity and tools to control how this works in terms of ad frequency, ad type, ad placement, etc.  

Q. How will Nexage target advertising for Angry Birds’ widespread and varied audience?

Nexage enhances Rovio’s fans’ experience by delivering mobile ads that are highly relevant to individual fans among the quarter of a billion people that have downloaded the games all over the world.

We do this by enabling Rovio-defined targeting information to be passed to the demand side so that they can apply the most relevant campaign and buy the best impressions to drive their advertising goals.  Again, the control stays with Rovio; we provide the tools for Rovio to define what is “relevant”, meaning the ad type, ad placement, and the ad media, among others.  Rovio has been very savvy and progressive in using rich media and video ads, including those used for interstitials as a way to deliver highly relevant ads to in a medium that is also pleasing to fans.  

This combination means we have enough of the right inventory and the right buyers, whether local, brand, or direct response campaigns, to fill the demand for advertising on Rovio; and the right tools for Rovio to enhance customer experience through ad relevance.

Q. For those who aren’t familiar with the Nexage RTB Exchange, can you explain further how it will affect the quality and success of advertisements on Rovio?

Let me first talk to how the Nexage Revenue Platform affects publishers, developers, ad sources, and advertisers.  Similar to online, everyone is looking for the best method to create an efficient, liquid and vibrant market for advertising buyers and sellers.  At the moment the average publisher or advertiser has to make sense and navigate different types of fragmentation in the market:  device platforms, ad network etc. This is ok for a small and stagnant market that can manage the existing costs and complexity, but mobile advertising is growing way too quickly—and is becoming far too important—to force businesses to navigate all of this fragmentation.  We strongly believe that an RTB-based platform is the best method to achieve an efficient, liquid and vibrant market.  When built right and built to scale with a hyper-growth market, an RTB-based platform enables efficient revenue performance on one side and significant reach and campaign ROI on the other.  

For publishers and developers, it brings a vast number and diversity of advertisers to create a highly liquid market to sell to, provides guidance and tools to maximize revenue performance – including an advanced algorithm to dynamically optimize their business, full range of ad media types, including rich media and video, and a powerful yet simple SDK suite to accelerate their business.  This maximizes fill rate while protecting eCPM value, as publishers and developers extend their mobile properties — maximizing their revenue performance and control of their business.

For ad sources and advertisers, it delivers a global, diverse, and powerful inventory from which to reach and compel consumers.  We enable publisher-defined targeting to tune and enhance campaigns, simplify how they manage access to inventory, and how they buy individual impressions for different mobile platforms.   This gives advertisers reach and enables them to maximize campaign ROI.  All of this exists against the backdrop of mobile advertising shifting from an interesting part of marketing campaigns to a strategic component of an integrated media plan.

Rovio, as a part of this market, benefits from the efficiency, liquidity, and value of a vibrant market.

Q. Will in-app advertising increase when Nexage takes over? How will it affect Angry Birds users’ game experience?

The first important point is that we are not taking over. We provide the visibility, guidance, and tools that enable Rovio to run their business as best they can and exactly how they want to run it.  Rovio determines how much, how often, and what kinds of ads are going to be run.  

This point is essential to mobile advertising meeting its potential and Nexage continuing our current rapid pace of growth; that is, businesses want the ability to accelerate and control their business.  We believe our RTB-based platform accomplishes this very well and is a critical component to enabling our customers and partners to meet their strategic goals.

OPS Mobile

Interested in learning more about mobile advertising? OPS Mobile will bring digital advertising leaders and ops professionals together to discuss and develop best practices for operational excellence in a world of connected devices. Register today for OPS Mobile, AdMonsters’ mobile advertising conference, which will be held December 7, 2011 in New York.