INFOGRAPHIC: Inside The Mobile Real-Time Bidding Ad Ecosystem

Real-time bidding, or RTB, is a style of programmatic buying in which digital advertising opportunities are auctioned off in real-time. The auctions take place in milliseconds as advertisers bid on the right to show you an ad immediately after you open an app or click to a new web page. 

On the desktop it’s a powerful technique to deliver the right ad to the right consumer at the right time and place. On mobile, it could be more powerful since consumers take their devices everywhere — to the mall, the car dealership, Starbucks, etc. 

In a recent reportBI Intelligence analyses programmatic bidding and real time bidding, analyse how it may help solve the mobile advertising CPM problem, and detail its recent impact and successes.

We also examine the potential obstacles to its widespread adoption, and look at how the holy grail of mobile advertising – controls and efficiencies – may be reached through its use.

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Take a look at this infographic from our report:


By all accounts, RTB grew tremendously in 2012 across the mobile advertising ecosystem. Some of the most promising highlights include:

  • Adfonic: Launched a mobile demand-side platform with RTB in October 2012, says it saw a quarterly increase of 22 billion RTB ad requests in the third quarter of last year — a full three-quarters of its growth— thanks to Android and iOS RTB inventory. 
  • Nexage: A mobile ad exchange, it reported that RTB more than doubled its share of revenue on the platform between May and October of last year. RTB’s revenue share grew 37% every month.  
  • MoPub: A mobile ad exchange, it reported that the number of winning RTB auctions increased 162% over the third quarter of 2012. 

It’s not just that more real-time auctions are happening. There are also more bids being placed on each RTB-mediated ad request, a metric sometimes referred to as “bid depth.”

  • Nexage, whose mobile RTB exchange is 18 months old, saw the number of bids per auction grow 96% between the second and third quarter of last year. 
  • MoPub reported bid depth of 1.6 bids per auction in June 2012, up from 0.4 bids per auction in January. 

To access BI Intelligence’s full report on Programmatic Buying and RTB, sign up for a free trial subscription here.

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