Millennial Media increases its reach by over 400 million mobile users as it buys Jumptap

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Millennial Media, a publicly listed mobile advertising company, is to acquire the privately held, Boston-based, mobile ad company Jumptap. Millennial Media, which reported a second quarter revenue of $57 million, is acquiring Jumptap predominantly as a stock transaction where Jumptap’s owners will receive approximately 24.6 million Millennial Media shares. The deal is expected to be closed in October.

Millennial Media currently reaches over 450 million unique users per month, of which some 160 million are in the United States. These users are reached using more than 45,000 mobile apps and have allowed Millennial Media to create more than 450 million proprietary, anonymous user profiles.

Jumptap is slightly smaller than Millennial Media but has a greater reach in the USA. Of its 439 million mobile users worldwide, 218 million of them are in the United States. It has developed over 124 million unique, data-rich profiles. Interestingly over 44 million of those profiles apply to users who can be reached across devices.

Once the takeover is complete, Millennial Media will have increased its reach from 450 million to nearly 900 million, assuming that users are unique across both networks. Even with some overlap, Millennial Media’s network reach will be significantly boosted. Also the number of ad impressions served will increase dramatically.

When Millennial Media filed for its IPO in 2012 it reported that it served around 40 billion ads per month. This figure is likely to be higher now and when coupled with Jumptap’s 60 billion monthly ad impressions, Millennial Media could well be serving over 100 billion ads per month.

In terms of market share, Millennial Media currently has an 18 percent share for the USA. When combined with Jumptap’s current 10.7 percent, the new business will have a 28.7 percent market share, a figure that puts it close to the current leader in mobile advertising, Google.

Millennial Media plans to incorporate all of Jumptap’s offerings into its own platform and the company reckons that the combined strengths of the two will allow app developers to maximize their opportunities on mobile platforms.

Jumptap’s platform has some common features with Millennial Media’s, however; there are some unique features to Jumptap’s offering which will benefit Millennial Media and the developers who are currently using Millennial Media’s platform.

The most significant of these is Jumptap’s Real-Time bidding (RTB) system, a feature which Millennial Media doesn’t yet offer, but hopes to launch (independently of Jumptap) later this year.

With RTB, adverts are serviced from a variety of sources according to a range of identifying factors. When an advert is needed the mobile app or mobile website will issue a bid request via the RTB platform which queries a number of publishers to see which ads best fit the profile and who is prepared to pay the most money to the developer for displaying the ad (or per click etc.).

Identifying factors will include things like locations, sex, type of app and age. The key to a successful RTB system is not only the range of publishers but also the speed of processing.

Jumptap’s RTB platform works directly with its partner exchanges including Burstly, Mobclix, MoPub, Nexage, and Smaato. Earlier this year Jumptap reported that its RTB platform accounted for more than 50 percent of its delivered ad requests.

Once Millennial Media’s system has been launched and the deal closed, Jumptap’s RTB will be integrated into Millennial Media’s offering. As a result the combined RTB platform will receive a significant boost as Jumptap currently serves over 1 billion RTB requests per day.

Another unique aspect to Jumptap’s advertising platform is its support for web sites, something that Millennial Media doesn’t focus on at the moment. Jumptap is currently able to track users across smartphones, tablets and desktops. This allows publishers to target users not only on mobile devices but also on their desktop machines.

By folding this into their advertising platform, Millennial Media will effectively enter into a new area of mobile advertising which will benefit both developers and publishers.

It is too early to tell what implications the merger will have in areas such as sign-up processes, payout schedules and tax implications. However one thing which should benefit international developers is Millennial Media’s support for payouts via PayPal, something that Jumptap didn’t support.

It is assumed that Millennial Media will establish a migration plan for developers using Jumptap’s services, with the final goal being that all developers will move to the Millennial Media’s services and SDKs. However during any transition period all Jumptap’s services and SDKs will continue to function as at present.

In an age where technology companies have a tendency to file lawsuits against their rivals for breach of patent or other intellectual property (IP) violations, Jumptap will add 55 patents to Millennial Media’s legal arsenal. It will also increase Millennial Media’s IP in the long term as Jumptap has an additional 50 patent applications pending.

Overall Millennial Media’s acquisition of Jumptap will benefit mobile app developers as well as publishers and since the combined business unit will be almost the same size as Google’s mobile advertising division (in the USA at least) then Google’s dominance in mobile advertising is under threat. In the long term such shake ups benefit everyone as competition always brings out the best.

Gary Sims is a mobile app developer, technical writer and author of Mobile Advertising Comparison.

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