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Changing the 'chain' on mobile rich media

Interest in mobile rich media advertising is rapidly growing awareness as advertisers look to exploit the capabilities of smart phones and tablets as part of their marketing mix. Much of the growth in mobile advertising has been centered around ad networks that have acquired numerous publishers with applications and/or mobile sites, and now serve billions of impressions each year. You only need to look at the mobile advertising landscape created by inneractive to see how many international ad networks there are offering premium and blind mobile inventory.
Mobile advertising is of course, not exclusive to ad networks as many premium publishers own a large part of mobile inventory in their respective markets. In most countries you'll find that incumbent publishers, such as newspapers, sports publications and magazines, have a significant share of screen time. In the Netherlands the publishing house Sanoma reported that over 55% of their users access news information on their site through their mobile app or mobile site. In the UK the Guardian is an excellent example of a publisher who has truly embraced mobile, and the Financial Times have created an entirely web based app using HTML5 technology to improve efficiency and user experience. The Financial times now has over 2 Million subscribers and mobile accounts for 12% of it's users.

So what does this mean for mobile rich media? Certain Ad Networks offer rich media production when agencies and advertisers commit to suitable budgets. This has lead to a fragmented market place, where in some cases rich campaigns are booked across various networks using different creative assets and even different campaign goals. Advertisers should have their message stated over all media including mobile in a clear fashion, but using each of their unique selling points which in mobile terms is very exciting.

Simon Andrews founder of addictive mobile explains - "Right now clients are missing out on the full potential {OF} mobile as they are not devoting enough attention to their creative work. Too often each {Ad} network has done their own version of the digital ad and watered down the idea - and in many cases the ads are different on every network. Smart brands know that doing the creative work properly pays dividends."

This is mainly due to lagging standardisation in technology, and MRAID goes some way to fixing this issue. MRAID standards have been introduced by the IAB which means it's much easier for advertisers and agencies to book campaigns across multiple publishers, both premium and those within ad networks. The introduction of MRAID standards has shown that it's possible to run rich mobile campaigns at scale easily and effectively. Effectively the implementation of rich mobile campaigns resembles that of rich campaigns on web, where creatives are 'built' or produced by a vendor.

This is where mobile rich media vendors come into their own. In only a few years a number independent rich mobile vendors have appeared and already the space is receiving a lot of attention from investors, as mobile companies connect with almost $4B in VC funding. The ideal situation is that advertisers and agencies use mobile vendors to produce rich campaigns according to standards and book across multiple publishers / ad networks. This is one of the main reasons that mobile advertising has taken so long to 'take off' because richer campaigns (which larger brands have been asking for) have been difficult to implement.

In a developed mobile advertising market place we will see advertisers and agencies selecting rich media vendors to build campaigns in HTML5 according to IAB standards. Media buyers will then have greater buying power in the market to run across multiple publishers with analytics and reporting through selected reporting tools. In time the process for booking rich campaigns will resemble that of online, where high quality campaigns are booked at scale and with relative ease.