LiveRail To Power All In-App Ads On Facebook Audience Network, Support App Video Ads
New exchange capabilities further pit Facebook against Google in the battle for mobile ad domination.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the audience at the company’s annual F8 developer conference that native ads now account for more than half of the inventory on the Facebook Audience Network, with publishers realizing seven times higher CPMs from those native units.
Video will soon become the latest native ad format available on third-party apps via Facebook, the company announced today. LiveRail, which Facebook acquired in July, 2014 to bolster its video advertising efforts, will power native video ads and all of the ad formats available through the Facebook Audience Network (FAN).
Introduced in April, 2014 and launched globally last October, the Facebook Audience Network is the in-app ad network that expands advertiser reach to third-party mobile apps beyond Facebook — think Google AdSense designed specifically for app publishers. In addition to native ad units, FAN has standard mobile banner and interstitial formats to promote app installs, app engagement or drive traffic to advertisers’ mobile sites.
LiveRail’s video platform has been used by publishers and media companies like ABC, A&E Networks, Gannet and DailyMotion to serve ads on their video content. With this announcement, LiveRail will function as Facebook’s ad exchange, with in-app inventory management as the first phase. The pitch is that publishers will see higher CPMs via LiveRail because it allows them to segment inventory and accept bids from a full-range of buying sources including direct and programmatic agency trading desks, ad networks, demand-side platforms and FAN itself. LiveRail will also tap into Facebook’s anonymized demographic data and targeting capabilities through access to FAN, helping advertisers meet demographic targets before their ads are actually served.
LiveRail will also continue to support desktop and video advertising along with the new in-app formats. Essentially, Facebook can now help publishers fulfill and manage all of their ad inventory, further pitting it against Google’s omni-ad tech capabilities. A growing ad tech stack coupled with the first-party demographic (and interest) data that users give Facebook makes for a compelling threat.
Facebook is accepting applications from publishers that want to participate in the exhange in a closed test of these new capabilities. Those interested can apply here.