In February and November 2014 we published lists of TUNE’s Top 25 Advertising Partners. We publish these lists partially to recognize partners that perform at a high level, but more importantly, to provide mobile marketers, app developers, agencies, and others in the industry with insight into which partners can help you accomplish your marketing goals.
Part of our mission at TUNE is to provide you with the resources you need to navigate the evolving industry and recognize opportunities for growth and expansion. Whether you’re interested in experimenting with a new technology, expanding into an additional market, or simply looking for reliable partners, the Top 25 Advertising Partners provides the insight you need to make decisions with confidence.
How did we determine the rankings?
The 2014 versions of our Top 25 were based on three data-driven metrics: revenue per install, install volume, and client adoption. Although this formula produced reliable and meaningful results, we felt that our methodology could be improved by incorporating client feedback. In order to capture client input, we recently conducted a survey and included the findings in our ranking formula. We then examined more than 600 integrated partners and generated scores based on four equally weighted factors:
- Revenue per install
- Install volume
- Client adoption
- Client survey
To be clear, these rankings are based solely on partner performance related to TUNE, and do not account for business that exists on other platforms.
Trends & Highlights
The complete list of Top 25 Advertising Partners can be seen below, but presented and discussed here are a few interesting trends and highlights:
Top 25 debuts
Six partners made the Top 25 for the first time. These partners (and their ranking) include:
- StartApp (9)
- PropellerAds Media Ltd. (16)
- Liftoff (18)
- Appiris (20)
- LifeStreet Media (22)
- Yahoo Gemini (23)
These six partners represent just under one quarter of the list—which may seem like a significant portion. However, considering the last edition of the Top 25 featured 11 new partners, the Spring 2015 Edition is actually relatively steady. The fact that 19 partners again reached the Top 25 speaks to their consistent, high-level performance.
Several advertising partners made impressive positive moves relative to their previous ranking. Some of the notable movers include:
- AdColony ascended 11 positions, reclaiming a place in the top five.
- StartApp and Appiris each climbed more than 45 positions, while PropellerAds Media Ltd. jumped 34 positions, just missing out on the top 15.
- Appia and NativeX moved up 20 and 21 positions respectively.
- LifeStreet Media improved 14 positions and Yahoo Gemini moved up 15, both breaking into the top 25 for the first time.
The growing prominence of video
The recommendation to keep an eye on video ads was one of the key insights from the Fall 2014 Edition, and video appears poised for further market gains. Partners such as AdColony, Chartboost, Vungle, Unity Ads and others that prioritize video ads continue to rank well. At least 10 of the Top 25 partners offer mobile video ads, including Applovin, which recently stated that a full 35 percent of its business comes from mobile video ads. You can expect video to become even more prominent over the next six months as it further solidifies itself as a reliable source for user acquisition, branding, and re-engagement.
Acquisitions & Investments
As a growing and maturing industry, consolidation in the mobile space is common and expected. Huge opportunities for growth also makes mobile an attractive option for investors. Listed here are a few of the recent acquisitions and investments involving companies in the Top 25:
- MobPartner acquired by Cheetah Mobile, March 2015
- Appiris acquired by AppLift, February 2015
- Appia acquired by Mandalay Digital, November, 2014
- AppLovin acquired Moboqo, October 2014
- Glispa received a $77M investment, March 2015
- Liftoff raised $5M, February 2015
- Jampp raised $7M, February 2015
- InMobi raised $5M, December 2014
The mobile ecosystem is characterized by constant change, and you can expect further consolidation in the coming year that will continue to shape the partner landscape.
The value of finding partners that consistently perform at a high level cannot be overstated. Keep an eye out for future partner rankings to see how these companies continue to perform, and to identify partners that can help you accomplish your marketing goals.
The Top 25 Advertising Partners
1. Twitter Ads
With 500 million Tweets a day and over 288 million active users, people turn to Twitter to bring them closer to the things they care about, whether it’s the news that affects their lives or the businesses down the block. Twitter enables you to get your messages in front of people not yet following you by promoting your Tweets. Reach the right audience by targeting based on interests, geography, gender, device, or users similar to your followers. In addition, maximize the relevancy of your message by targeting by keywords in people’s Tweets.
2. Google AdWords
Google Mobile Ads can help you achieve your performance marketing objectives to win new customers, grow leads and earn conversions. Mobile ads appear on mobile devices in Google search results, on content websites, in apps and video. Use them to put your business in front of people as they use their smartphones and tablets throughout the day. Google Mobile Ads can also help you fulfill your branding goals. Make an impact with engaging, interactive, rich-media display ads on the mobile web and in apps.
The mission at InMobi is to enable consumers and businesses to make smarter decisions. They build mobile-first customer engagement platforms that transform the economics of influencing global consumers. InMobi helps their customers engage consumers in a far more intimate way through mobile advertising. They offer a suite of solutions based on the core principles of simplicity and scale to help engage, retain, and grow consumer bases. InMobi’s focus on understanding consumer behavior and leveraging big-data to predict their actions enables them to offer these unique solutions.
AdColony is a leading mobile video advertising and monetization platform that plays crystal-clear HD video at lightning speed and drives deep engagement with content. AdColony’s proprietary Instant-Play™ video ad technology serves video ads instantly on the most popular apps in the world across Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. AdColony’s reach, targeting and optimization tools and services provide advertisers with a superior way to engage mobile audiences at scale. AdColony’s app developer tools and services provide publishing partners with ways to maximize audience and revenue growth while gaining insight needed to continuously optimize content and advertising offerings.
5. Motive Interactive
Motive Interactive is a global Mobile Ad Network that focuses on providing quality user acquisition for top brands in some of the most competitive verticals. Motive supports its growing client base with technical innovation and strong industry experience. Founded in 2003 Motive quickly became one of the top performance marketing networks. An early adopter, Motive transitioned its business into Mobile in 2011.
MobPartner was founded in 2009 in Paris, France with one simple goal—to build the most advanced mobile advertising & monetization solutions based on performance-driven results. Today, they offer cutting-edge mobile marketing products in which advertisers pay only for measurable performance, and publishers monetize with superbly matched campaigns and contextually relevant ad units offering high eCPMs.
Glispa is a high-performance, digital marketing pioneer empowering their clients to activate global audiences, reach growth objectives, and move markets. We provide a full suite of acquisition and monetization solutions (gBoost, gPerform, gMonetize and Media Services) for global advertisers like Baidu, Nexon, OLX, Dafiti and Gumi. Glispa reaches billions of mobile and web users with our multichannel offerings, driving quality engagement, increasing customer lifetime value, and impacting the bottom-line.
Named #8 on Forbes 2015 America’s Most Promising Companies list, AppLovin’s marketing platform provides marketing automation and analytics for brands who want to reach their consumers on mobile. The platform enables brands to use real-time data signals to make effective marketing decisions across one billion mobile consumers worldwide. AppLovin has over 70 employees and is headquartered in Palo Alto, with offices in San Francisco, New York, London, and Berlin.
StartApp is the brains and beauty of mobile advertising. A mobile-only advertising platform, serving ads to over 350,000,000 monthly active users across the globe. Directly working with over 170,000 apps, StartApp’s publishers enjoy top industry rates driven from direct deals with top advertisers, ads presented with engaging, fun and unique creative and served using one of the most advanced targeting algorithms out there.
10. Apple iAd
iAd is Apple’s advertising platform. They help businesses find the right people and create the kind of advertising that captures attention and drives results. iAd helps you find the right customers, understand them better, and engage them more effectively—all on your own terms. There are hundreds of millions of validated iTunes accounts worldwide, most tied to payment methods. So whether you’re looking for moms or business travelers or groups of your own customers, iAd has you covered.
Chartboost is the largest revenue platform for mobile games. They empower developers to find new players and monetize their games by providing them with the tools and analytics to make smarter decisions. The company reinvented distribution through development of the first 100% transparent ad network, and industry’s only Direct Deals Marketplace, encouraging developers to work directly with one another. Chartboost powers over 60,000 games from companies such as Machine Zone, Supercell, Wooga, NimbleBit, ZeptoLab, Pocket Gems, PikPok, Animoca, Tap4Fun and Chukong, and drives over 12 billion game sessions per month.
Vungle’s technology helps thousands of app developers around the world make money and enhance their apps with beautiful video ads. The leader in in-app video advertising, Vungle wants to make ads that people actually enjoy. Vungle products provide necessary infrastructure for app monetization through high-quality video ads. More than 100 million people worldwide see a Vungle ad each month.
13. Unity Ads
Unity’s premier mobile game ad network, Unity Ads, is trusted by top brands like Sega, Supercell, and King—both for monetizing their user base and acquiring highly-valued users. Users opt-in to watch video ads and earn virtual item rewards.
Appia is a mobile user acquisition network and has delivered more than 85 million app installs for hundreds of advertisers, including 60 of the top 100 grossing apps on the App Store and Google Play. Appia provides the technology, infrastructure, and scale to provide higher lifetime value users for advertisers while driving positive return on ad spend. In addition, Appia partners with a diverse set of publishers including app developers, mobile websites, and carriers to maximize their advertising revenue.
15. Millennial Media
Millennial Media is the leading independent mobile marketplace, making mobile simple for the world’s top brands, app developers, and mobile web publishers. The company’s unique data and technology assets enable its advertising clients to connect with their target audiences at scale. Millennial Media also drives monetization for its publisher and developer partners by connecting them to networks, advertisers, and an RTB exchange.
16. PropellerAds Media Ltd
PropellerAds combined up-to-date technologies and their deserving experience of working with numerous ad networks to provide you with the best advertising solution. They totally understand what is important for you and take the stress out of your campaign. To ensure highest possible results of an ad campaign in the shortest time period with the cheapest budget—that becomes real with their help. Providing access to a large number of ad places on the sites of various categories and using PropellerAds’ sophisticated technology, you will find the right spot to place your advertisement and achieve the best results by attracting the audience you are looking for.
Jampp is an app marketing & re-engagement platform. They aggregate over 150 ad networks and RTB exchanges to drive and optimize traffic to apps. The Jampp platform algorithms factor in information about each user’s profile as well as about the ad impression’s context, their programmatic platform (through a combination of big data and machine learning) decides within milliseconds how much the ad impression is worth and what message or creative to show each particular user. The company is based in London, Buenos Aires, Cape Town and expanding into the US and other countries soon.
Liftoff is a marketing technology company that helps mobile app publishers acquire more engaged users. Each Liftoff campaign is powered by a bidding optimization engine trained on a proprietary data set of User Composites and App Constellations. This bidding engine allows Liftoff to identify users with a higher chance of post-install activity and thus focus ad spend on these specific users. Liftoff campaigns leverage ad inventory from all the major mobile advertising channels and provide real-time analytics in one centralized dashboard.
At Pandora, they have a single mission: To play only music you’ll love. (OK, they’ve added comedy as well so they’re also up for playing some jokes you’ll love.) Their team of musician-analysts have been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track—melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics … and more! Pandora continues this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums, and garages around the country.
Appiris, a mobile user acquisition platform focusing on non-gaming vertical, was acquired by AppLift, a mobile marketing platform in the gaming space. With this acquisition, AppLift will expand to all app verticals by including Appiris’ technology into its existing adstack to offer one unified, LTV-powered user acquisition platform for all advertisers.
NativeX is a leader in innovative monetization and user acquisition solutions for iOS and Android games and apps. For publishers looking for effective monetization and user acquisition solutions, NativeX is the marketing technology platform that is reinventing in-app advertising to create more effective and engaging ad experiences that enable developers to build successful businesses around their apps.
22. LifeStreet Media
LifeStreet Media is a leader in global in-app advertising for Facebook, Apple (iOS) and Android developers. LifeStreet’s RevJet optimization platform is built upon the world’s first universal object server and is the product of a $25+ million software development investment. RevJet applies Iterative High Velocity Testing to any digital revenue driver, ranging from visual objects such as ads and landing pages to logical objects such as trafficking decisions and revenue maximization algorithms. RevJet is producing breakthrough monetization levels and extraordinarily high volumes of new customers for social and mobile advertisers, publishers, and app developers alike. LifeStreet reaches 500 million social and mobile app users monthly and has driven over 375 million app installs.
23. Yahoo Gemini
Yahoo Gemini is the only marketplace that brings together mobile search and native advertising. Buying together delivers greater impact and superior performance for marketers. All backed by massive reach, analytics, and personalization as part of the first unified ad marketplace for mobile search and native advertising.
MdotM is a premier mobile ad network comprising of iPhone and Android apps. MdotM helps advertisers reach users on their mobile devices and enables developers to monetize their iPhone and Android apps. MdotM runs campaigns on a CPC, CPM, or cost-per-download basis. Developers yield the most competitive CPMs through the MdotM network.
Tapjoy’s goal is to maximise the value of every user for freemium mobile app publishers. Its Marketing Automation and Monetization Platform for mobile apps uses market leading data science, user segmentation and predictive analytics to drive deeper engagement and optimize revenue from every user. Tapjoy’s SDK is embedded in more than 270,000 apps with a global reach of more than 520 million monthly active users (December, 2014). Backed by top-tier investors including J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Rho Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, and D.E. Shaw Ventures, Tapjoy is headquartered in San Francisco.
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Peter is CEO and Partner at TUNE. Developing his early skills as an online marketer in SEO, PPC, and Media Buying, he met the twin co-founders of TUNE in 2009 and had the opportunity to join prior to day one, leading product marketing for the company's first launch. He continues to contribute to media, white papers, analysts, and industry blogs with the goals of educating mobile marketers and making the digital marketing ecosystem more connected. Follow @peterhamilton