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Verve Mobile Signs Up Major Broadcasters For White Label Location Ad Program

The TV arms of Meredith Corp., Fox Television Stations, and Raycom are opening their respective mobile inventory to geo-marketing tools.

Verve's Tom MacIsaac
Verve CEO Tom MacIsaac

As mobile advertising and programmatic sales methods become more common, the television ad sales units under media giants Raycom Media, Meredith Corporation, and the Fox Television Stations have adopted Verve Mobile’s location advertising platform to host their mobile apps.

The TV properties join about 2,000 media outlets using Verve’s white-label native app and mobile web advertising network. The addition of these big media names reflects a greater need on the part of major publishers to offer cross-platform solutions, particularly in the intersection of mobile and programmatic.

“The Verve Platform allows Meredith to effectively package, distribute, and monetize exciting content on mobile devices,” said Michael Cukyne, Meredith’s SVP for Digital Media. “These are user-friendly mobile apps that are driving our pageviews and user engagement numbers to new levels.”

Programmatic Push

Verve has spent much of the past year expanding its programmatic tools. Most notably, in October, Verve began laying the groundwork for private marketplaces, which offer media sellers a greater degree of control when making their ads available for automated buying and real-time bidding. Around the same time Verve was unveiling its supply-side platform plans, geo-marketing specialist xAd expanded its partnership with ad exchange player PubMatic on a geo-centric private marketplace for media properties.

The realization that they are now able to serve mobile ads targeted to users based on their location with programmatic capabilities is not lost on anyone these days, said Verve CEO Tom MacIsaac.

“It’s a quick way for publishers to place their content on mobile, where users are increasingly spending their time,” MacIsaac said in a statement. “It’s no surprise that last year more ad impressions were served on mobile devices than online. While much of this mobile consumption is happening in downloadable apps, mobile websites are still a very effective channel for local media content.”

The moves come as both mobile and programmatic advertising shift from merely functioning as low-cost, remnant (otherwise known as “unsold”) ad placements for direct response brands to including more so-called “premium” inventory from the likes of consumer packaged goods marketers.

Verve's Aimee Irwin
Verve’s Aimee Irwin

“Verve continually evolves its publishing and advertising platform with features that help local media companies drive additional engagement (and in turn ad impressions) and help them grow their local mobile advertising sales,” said Aimee Irwin, SVP of Business Development at Verve.  “We have added tremendous flexibility into the app platform, allowing publishers to customize the look and feel of their apps and make many changes without requiring an app update.  On the advertising side, publishers can leverage our ad platform for geo-fencing, geo-conquesting and audience targeting with easy customizable ad templates that are optimized for ad performance.  They can also extend the reach of their campaigns with additional location-verified inventory from Verve.  Local publishers that have run reach extension campaigns with Verve say that Verve performs 3x better than the exchanges for reach extension in mobile.”

As a Verve study from last month indicated, CPGs are currently the third largest location-powered advertising vertical, comprising 14 percent of all US location-based ad spending. CPGs are the fastest growing segment within the location-based ad category, and they’re quickly catching up to retail (which makes up 28 percent of location-based ad activity) and automotive (15 percent).

The Value Of First Party Data

Obviously, having such an expanded range of coverage on the supply side has obvious benefits in terms of reach. By striking deals with TV broadcasters, Verve is betting that these publishers will lead to even greater opportunities with increasingly various categories of marketers. In turn, those advertisers and publishers are recognizing the value of location-based advertising and the deeper levels of consumer analytics that come with the data that companies like Verve can sift through and collect.

“The addition of these new publishers increases Verve’s first party data and premium inventory scale,” Irwin said.  “The unique users on the Verve publishing platform provide us with a very large set of clean and reliable first-party location data for our data modeling and analytics and we leverage this data to make advertising work better for brands.  To help drive foot traffic and sales Verve consumer segments pull from more than 130 million user profiles mapped to household level data.   We’ve also seen that mobile campaigns leveraging our first party location data and run on locally relevant content out performs similar campaigns running on exchange inventory and data.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.