Will Content Solve Mobile Advertising?

The question is: Can mobile publishers sell in-app content to advertisers. The answer is “Yes” but they’ll need a platform to compete.

In Digiday’s new article,  “Can Content Win In Mobile?” the author outlines how difficult it is for most mobile publishers to compete with large mobile platforms for ad dollars. One challenge is that platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pandora have data and the ability to scale their native offerings:

“Most lack the scale to compete and often lack the kind of data that platforms have.”

Imagine you’re an app developer and you have 2 million highly engaged users. Imagine you also have in-app advertising opportunities that you know are going to be far more effective than a Facebook ad. How do you sell that spot to an advertiser? Even if you could get their attention, how would offer key functions like creating the customized ad, reporting or ongoing optimization with your small team. The big guys are set up to do this efficiently. Most app developers are not.

So, it’s not that smaller publishers don’t have the right audiences or even unique opportunities for connecting advertisers with audiences. Instead, most publishers simply lack a way to scale that offering and provide the data and tools most advertisers have come to expect. That will change when those features and functions can be used without having each publisher build their own platform from the ground up.

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