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A Decade of AdColony III – Return of the Rocketship

Posted Mar 5, 2021

As the strongest and most successful brand under the Opera Mediaworks umbrella, it was clear that AdColony should become the name that publishers, brands, and agencies turn to leverage the power of mobile, and more innovation was coming fast! This final entry in the look back at our history, and a look forward, is just as fascinating as the previous two! 

Don’t miss the animated timeline of AdColony’s history. Scroll down to check it out!

Innovation & Expansion: New Formats, New Regions

And as the mobile ad industry kept maturing and adapting to consumer’s new preferences, such as square and vertical video (thanks, Instagram) AdColony led the way. 

In 2017, the company launched High-Performing Instant-Play™ HD Vertical Video. Its initial vertical video campaigns outperformed marketers’ expectations with an 89% average video completion rate and 10% average engagement rate. 

The new Aurora™ video suite allowed for a “choose your own experience” where consumers could touch, tap, tilt, or swipe a running video to truly affect what happens on screen. It also tapped into powerful graphic technologies of WebGL to give marketers graphic capabilities usually only possible in professional CGI and gaming design, such as custom particle effects, textures, lighting, and a physics engine that result in a more realistic and life-like experience for the viewer.

This level of interactivity and graphical effects led to Aurora Playables, in which users could play a mini-version of the game before deciding to download it. 

The new ad formats broadened and deepened AdColony’s appeal to brands and agencies as well as performance advertisers in the gaming space, further boosting its reputation. 

At the same time, the company made several moves to expand further across the globe, opening up markets in domestic China – the world’s largest smartphone market and leader in app store revenue, as well as Australia & New Zealand. 

The Good Fight: AdColony Takes Leading Role Against Ad Fraud

AdColony had recognized the importance of ad fraud prevention back in 2016, and was one of the first companies to integrate with MOAT, and soon after announced full compatibility with all major viewability measurement partners (i.e., Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify) for both programmatic and managed service campaigns. 

Over the next few years, AdColony would firmly establish itself as leader in the fight against ad fraud by successfully working with forward-thinking organizations and achieving certifications with even the most stringent criteria: 

  • In April 2017, it was granted the coveted Certified Against Fraud certification by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). AdColony continued to receive the TAG certificate every year, and is now on the third year straight.
  • In 2018, AdColony joined the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) as an Associate Member.
  • In 2019, it chose Pixelate as its partner in prevention of digital ad fraud, for an additional layer of protection, transparency, and measurement in mobile app environments.
  • Also in 2019, it joined the Advertising ID Consortium as part of its ongoing effort toward better targeting and campaign performance for its partners. Using a common ID also reduces data loss in addressable environments.
  • AdColony’s latest full SDK update (SDK 4) includes the IAB’s Open Measurement standard to further increase transparency with advertisers.

Back To Roots: Helping Mobile App Publishers Realize the Dream!

The mobile ad marketplace has greatly matured since those early days of AdColony – it’s almost unrecognizable from where it started. The industry has taken great strides forward in how to target audiences, how media is bought and sold, and of course, the way in which creative messages are presented to users.

But throughout it all, there is one thing AdColony has always stood for, and continues to stand for: Opportunity for mobile app developers and UA advertisers. 

So in 2019, as a way to “put our money where our mouth is,” the company launched the $5 million Advanced Monetization Program (AMP) – offering publishers in its marketplace 100% revenue share for 90 days, a 15% user acquisition credit, and up to 10% bonus on first position waterfall deals to those who participated.

Additionally, that year in the SDK update, it added the IAB smartphone banner, medium rectangle (MREC), skyscraper, and leaderboard display options, so that mobile app developers would have access to a full suite of monetization options.

And, in 2020, the company opened its very first AI Hub as a way to build better monetization products for developers that use its SDK and to accelerate innovation of advertising technology for its User Acquisition clients. The Poland-based engineering team, led by two industry veterans in UA intelligence, data science and gaming, is laser-focused on pushing forward AI-powered solutions for advertisers and publishers. 

The Next Decade … And Beyond for AdColony

When AdColony won “Best Mobile Ad Network” by Adweek readers, the company knew it had made a significant impact on its brand advertising partners, enough to warrant this mark of highest quality. It was a milestone in the company’s quest to not just provide app publishers with a platform for sustainable monetization and growth through performance advertising, but to truly serve brands. And serve it does, by bringing the scalable, growing global gaming audience to the fingertips of brands looking to reach their target customers.  

Today, AdColony is led by a group of veterans not just in mobile gaming, but in brand and performance. Jude O’Connor, who joined AdColony in 2015 as Vice President of Brand and Agency Performance, and scaled it from zero to $40 million annually in just three years, now leads as Chief Revenue Officer. 

Camila Franklin is at the helm as Chief Operations Officer (formerly VP Programmatic) and Tom Simpson leads Brand & Exchange in APAC. AdColony has successfully combined its programmatic private marketplace and open exchange expertise with its high-quality, first-party supply and SDK data to reinforce its hold as the No. 1 solution for high-quality, brand-safe, and transparent mobile inventory – for 2021 and beyond.

The Next 10 Years & Digital Turbine
Last week, we announced AdColony has been acquired by global on-device mobile platform company Digital Turbine. We’re excited about the synergies of our two companies and when you combine our capabilities, you have a powerful platform that will drive growth and outcomes for any company or individual that participates in the mobile app economy.

AdColony has had a very successful turnaround over the last three years, which was crowned with 15% year-over-year growth in 2020 versus 2019 and we’re excited to continue that growth with Digital Turbine.

Join the Conversation
Ready to work with AdColony for the next ten years? Tweet us at @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on LinkedIn.


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