This year, we have been interviewing Smaato’s founders and sales leaders to find out what to expect in the in-app advertising industry in 2019. Below are excerpts from each of these interviews, highlighting this year’s trending topics and what’s coming up next for Smaato. For the full interviews, check out our Youtube channel.
What industry topics and trends are important for Smaato in 2019?
Ragnar Kruse, Co-Founder:
This year is a big and important year for us because we are implementing many different modules where we leverage artificial intelligence. So, not just optimizing by price, but also making sure that the right inventory and the right user reaches the right advertiser — and vice versa — to really bring that together.
Petra Vorsteher, Co-Founder:
For us, it’s really important to keep our platform fraud-free and to keep our data clean. This is a global push, and we want to make AI part of our DNA.
Also, we opened our new Innovation Lab in Hamburg that is very tech-focused. It’s also very vision-focused and where innovation happens. I’m very excited about it, and I hope all our employees are too!
Mohamed Ben Hiba, General Manager EMEA:
In times where header bidding becomes a bigger topic, we will add more and more traffic into our pipes, and it becomes very important for our buyers, but also for us, to be very efficient about these traffic streams. To have the opportunity to buy exactly what I want and leave out the unwanted stuff. To increase the value of each and every incoming ad impression.
Therefore, we invest a lot in machine learning mechanisms. We beefed up our development teams and data analysts, who were already doing an amazing job last year to build our curation mechanism to handle all those traffic flows. And so far, we are very happy with the results — even though we have just started to scratch the surface.
Alex Khan, Managing Director APAC:
The major topics will be viewability, supply-path optimization, header bidding — also then flowing into demand-side optimization, where there’s going to be a rationalization of how many vendor supply points there are. So, we at Smaato are really looking at how we can position ourselves as the in-app SSP of choice. At the same time, there will be a lot of education as to why in-app is pretty much the fastest-growing new advertising medium.
Looking at the year ahead, what are you most excited about for Smaato?
This year, I’m very excited about all the product innovations we’re rolling out and, most importantly, artificial intelligence to automate processes and make better use of data. Also, the really continuous improvement on those kinds of topics are important, and that makes me excited because that allows enough room to build more products and also to differentiate ourselves from other companies.
Our focus on AI, our new Innovation Lab, the new office in New York, and many great events make me excited about 2019.
We have a soft launch phase going on with a couple of friendly clients. So, I am very excited to see our SDK officially launch very soon and to see how the adoption will work out from our clients’ side. And we’re already seeing great traction and excitement from our major publishing partners. They can’t wait to integrate our SDK and use it on a header bidding solution.
Viewability, primary ad server, brand safety, fraudulent traffic detection — those are the major topic areas. So, once we start talking to advertisers and we start trying to unlock brand budgets, we really have to look at how we can convince them: Yes, the traffic is human. Yes, it’s viewable. Yes, it’s safe. And, yes, it’s optimized.