Both mobile app publishers and advertisers clamor for increased transparency and efficiency. Supply-Path Optimization was supposed to provide that for advertisers, but did it? Not really. Here’s why Demand-Path Optimization applies to mobile app publishers and Supply-Path Optimization does not -- and an even better option lies in the not too distant future.

Supply-Path Optimization (SPO) promised increased transparency and better efficiencies for advertisers. Unfortunately, SPO did not live up to either promise, and while it’s certainly not dead it does seem to be limping along.

Why is that? And is there a better answer for mobile app publishers?

Many ad tech executives commonly cite three issues: lack of expertise, poor neutrality, and insufficient tools. The all-encompassing programmatic process, where buyers would find greater transparency and anonymity, never materialized.

True, Supply-Path Optimization did improve on header-bidding and Prebid. Header-bidding and Prebid multiplied the amount of available bid requests for each ad opportunity. Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) went from processing one bid request to twenty bid requests, adding up costs. Supply-Path Optimization tried to fix that ungodly mess, and those who managed to implement it did find some limited success in that regard.

The SPO architects failed to agree on a common approach or standard. It became a disorganized effort that failed to deliver; hence it was abandoned by many. Still, the idea limps along thanks to individual contributors -- through preferred exchanges for Demand Side Platforms, Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) serving only direct publishers, exchange level algorithms that eliminate redundant bid requests, and advertiser efforts to use 1st party data to find pockets of effective consumers.

Simply stated, Supply-Path Optimization does not apply to mobile app publishers, as it ONLY applies to advertisers. Demand-Path Optimization (DPO) applies to mobile app developers. DPO is what mobile app developers do to increase transparency and increase efficiencies, to increase their revenues and inventory value.

Ad-Path Optimization

Ad-Path Optimization (APO) combines both Supply-Path Optimization and Demand-Path Optimization. Or put another way:

Ad-Path Optimization = Supply-Path Optimization + Demand-Path Optimization

VRTCAL foresees a real need, a synthesis we call Ad-Path Optimization (APO) that we believe will combine the successes of both Supply-Path Optimization and Demand-Path Optimization. SPO has failed because it is only half of the equation.

Now before you shake your head and say to yourself, here we go again, listen to the merits of this approach because it’s coming sooner than you think, and we believe it will hasten adoption and solve many of your problems.

For Supply-Path Optimization to expand, advertisers need to continue to select the most efficient supply path, create direct relationships with more publishers and continue searching for profitable consumer pockets.

For a successful Demand-Path Optimization, publishers need to have the ability to increase the efficiencies of their inventory offered to advertisers and integrate directly with more DSPs. Restructuring the Prebid strategy will quickly see greater efficiencies and move in the right direction.

Prebid was really a good 1st step toward Demand-Path Optimization for mobile app developers, but to the detriment of SPO. It did increase revenues, but at the expense of creating a one-size-fits-all approach, along with a number of other shortcomings:

  • Prebid pairs premium and lower quality buyers together.
  • Prebid wastes bid requests.
  • Prebid has very little demand targeting, if any.
  • Prebid has the publisher relying of others' algorithms.
  • Prebid wastes bid responses with “over mediation”.
  • Prebid loses buyer interest because of low efficiency for buyer costs.
  • Prebid does not increase the value of the publisher inventory.

It is time for mobile app developers to advance their DPO efforts, while the advertisers build on their SPO successes, toward a collective APO. What we all, both advertisers and mobile app developers, really want is APO, but we just don’t know it, yet. If we have a successful collective APO, that means that the mobile app developers are increasing revenues and the advertisers are increasing ROI for their campaigns, together. We can no longer think of advertisers “versus” mobile app developers. We need to think advertisers “plus” mobile app developers.

What we offer

The VRTCAL platform offers a complete suite of Demand-Path Optimization tools to help mobile app developers (1) increase revenue, (2) increase the value of ad inventory and (3) work towards a successful DPO contribution to a collective APO. If you are looking to maximize your ad revenues, we suggest you try VRTCAL’s solution of tools for DPO. They are cloud-based, comprehensive, and easy to learn. Try the free offer.

VRTCAL is an open publisher-first SSP and SaaS company, an ad tech house for great engineering. If you don’t find the features you are looking for now, let us know and we may able to add it to our development queue.

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