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Factual Enables Private Marketplace Deals With InMobi, Rubicon

In theory, giving publishers clearer controls over programmatic pricing means advertisers get better access to mobile consumers based on location.

The intersecting rise of programmatic ad buying and the use of geo-data to target those placements on smartphone apps is the underlying reason behind Factual’s expansion of its existing work with mobile ad platform InMobi.

The terms of the new agreement calls for Factual’s location-based audience data to be accessed within private marketplaces (PMPs) on the InMobi Exchange, powered by programmatic platform, Rubicon Project.

PMPs 101

Generally speaking, a private marketplace puts more control in publishers’ hands by providing clear controls to more easily select what kinds of buyers can view and bid on their inventory. The idea of a private marketplace that is tied to location-based advertising further narrows the field for publishers, who, in theory at least, will have better reasons to offer higher quality ad placements that have a geo-related aspect to them.

The advent of private marketplaces began with the likes of Rubicon, PubMatic, and the company formerly known as AdMeld (it was acquired by Google in 2011 and is now a key component in DoubleClick for Publishers).

These entities served the “supply-side” — i.e., publishers — who felt that the agencies on the buy side had all the advantages and tools in exchange-based environments — particularly demand-side platforms, which serve as on-ramps to programmatic platforms. Publishers who put their ad space up for bid felt vulnerable to buyers who would simply drive the price down.

The shorthand: Advertisers increasingly want to be able to narrowly select certain audience types as opposed to simply picking a random ad placement within an entire website or app.

If publishers are able to offer direct access to the specific consumers a marketer wants in real-time based on location, those sellers are potentially in a position to charge more — as long as they can prove the quality and accuracy associated with the people being served those ads.

Targeting Audiences Beyond Location

For Factual, this private marketplace deal isn’t just about the value of location as a key source by itself; it’s about how location can inform a wider range of ad targeting.

Instead of these being “publisher-specific” private marketplaces, Factual is working on “audience-specific” PMPs across the entire exchange. In that sense, any DSP can buy Factual’s location-based audiences on InMobi inventory programmatically across publishers — and still be guaranteed they are getting the audience they want.

“This is a slight twist to the way the marketplace typically thinks about PMPs,” said Vikas Gupta, Factual’s director of Marketing. “Instead of creating premium access to publisher-specific inventory, we are creating premium access to specific location-based audiences, enabling any DSP to buy InMobi inventory informed by Factual’s location-based audiences programmatically with incredible ease.”