OpenX is again on the cutting edge, now empowering app developers and publishers in the mobile video space.
With the announcement today of its new, free software development kit for iOS and Android, OpenX partners are poised to further monetize their apps with video technology — and the scene is set for new levels of consumer engagement and healthy revenue.
“What we see now is a big shift to mobile,” said Martin Price, head of mobile products at OpenX. “People are spending more time with their devices. They’re interacting with them 150 times per day, in countless different ways. What we’re trying to do is enable ‘high-value’ advertising on those devices.”
High-value: meaning, in this case, video-rich. OpenX’s SDK for video technology frees brands from the usual confines of the standard 320×50 banner. It opens their apps to richer and more seamless creative environments. Building on what partners have already come to know, when it comes to OpenX’s functionality, let’s look at how the new SDK enhances what businesses can do with video in the mobile space.
Beyond the Banner: OpenX’s Video SDK Fuels Creativity
If the facts on the ground are that video is changing the face of advertising in the mobile space, statistics help develop the picture. Recent reports peg the click-through likelihood for mobile consumers, when viewing video ads on their smartphones and tablets, at three times that of desktop users. And that measurement itself represents a tripling of the CTR for mobile video — increasing to 13.64%, in third quarter 2013, compared to 3.73%, in 2012. What almost any publisher wants, in light of this upward trend in mobile-video consumption, are options. They want flexibility, and plug-and-play functionality, and deep integration with extant data about their consumers and marketplace. OpenX’s video SDK brings all of that, and more, to the table.
• The SDK supports multiple new video ad units including pre, mid, and post-roll video; click-to-play native in-feed video ads; and interstitial video ads.
• Though it will happily support a publisher’s own video player, OpenX’s new SDK also comes with a free bundled video player for iOS and Android, as well as extensive support for publishers’ own custom video players.
• Partner publishers are assured advanced support to block suspect ads that can redirect consumers to app stores without user input.
• OpenX’s SDK for video features full support for click-to-action, Mobile Rich-Media Ad Interface (MRAID), Celtra, and HTML5 ad units.
• For publishers seeking advanced customization, the SDK allows for the targeting of multiple screen sizes and display orientations. Brands can set custom ad parameters using key-value pairs.
• The SDK is also a two-way street. Publishers can configure event listeners and they can view messages coming back from the ad server in real-time. And there’s more to the SDK than its built-in features, ease of use, and efficiency.
Price pointed out that publishers can expect even further synthesis between video and OpenX’s core products — its ad exchange, SSP, and ad server.
“What we do now is enable you to do direct ad serving,” he said of the video SDK. “And what we’ll be releasing in a follow-up is that you’ll get access to all our 300-plus demand partners in our exchange for programmatic buying … There’s no one who’s really bundling all of that in one go — plus native — and has the exchange and the volume we have behind it. We’re truly unique, in that we have this great infrastructure to build on.”
Now and Next: In-Stream and Native Video with OpenX
The new SDK marks both an evolution of access to the mobile space that OpenX has always valued, and also the beginning of the next phase in an always forward-moving process.
“What we’re now focusing on is building more and more functionality for mobile-first,” said Price. “We’re releasing video into the in-app inventory; we’re going to then extend it to people who have mobile-web inventory they want to monetize — we already have some support for that, but we’ll be enhancing it.”
And that focus further reflects OpenX’s enthusiasm for in-stream video, one component Price said he thinks will become more and more a preferred experience for consumers. That is, if a key element of native advertising’s attractiveness to advertisers is that it’s already tied to desirable content, it’s because in that environment viewers are more likely to consider the ad in a favorable way.
“For app developers, that’s going to be one of the best ways for them to monetize their apps,” said Price, referring to developing video functionality beyond click-to-play. “We’re going to be doing some work around auto-play and even better kinds of technologies, so you’ll have a really seamless video experience… much more engagement for the user, and even more benefit and ROI for the advertiser.”