Live Q&A with TapSense CEO, Ash Kumar: The $10 Million RTB Fund – Wed, May 7th 11:00 a.m. PDT


Is TapSense really giving away $10 million dollars to mobile publishers? Yes. TapSense is funding app publisher adoption of real-time bidding (RTB) technology. Through this investment initiative, TapSense guarantees mobile publishers will receive the full amount of their floor CPM for all ad auctions that clear, free of any fees TapSense normally charges. This provides publishers with 100% of the revenue from all advertising sold.

Join us to have your questions answered in a live Q&A session with TapSense CEO and Co-Founder, Ash Kumar.

Date: Wednesday, May 7th
Time: 11am PDT / 2pm EDT
Log in:
Dial in: +1.408.418.5040
Access Code: 664-677-581#

About TapSense for Publishers: 
TapSense is a leading independent mobile advertising platform operating at massive scale, with access to 10 billion high-quality ad impressions monthly, across 60 of the top 100 mobile publishers. Benefits of the TapSense platform include:
  • Superior monetization with RTB
  • Mediation of top ad networks
  • Private RTB marketplace
  • Full control over first-party data
  • Innovative and unique ad formats

How Publishers Can Attract Brand Advertisers

Attracting Big Brands

Every publisher wants to attract big brand advertisers, but how? Build a sales team? Develop a fancy media kit? Get the right technology in place? These are all good answers, but they’re just tactics. To really succeed with brand advertisers, publishers need a holistic strategy for their brand as well. While there’s no magic bullet when it comes to attracting high quality advertisers, we’ve put together recommendations in four key areas that publishers should address.

You Must Have Premium Inventory at Scale

Your mobile site or app will need to be at a significant scale in order to be attractive to brands. Let’s assume that the average mobile brand campaign budget is $100,000, spent over a one month period. At a $1.00 CPM, you would need a minimum of 100,000 premium ad impressions a month in order to deliver on this campaign. But having the premium inventory available is where most publishers struggle.

An at scale app or site will throw off millions of impressions, but very little of that is of high quality. Brand advertisers consider a premium impression to be an above the fold impression on the startup screen, home screen, or logout screen only. Interior pages, search results, forums, user profiles, and other pages with fewer views are classified as remnant inventory. In many apps, however, a full-screen interstitial is considered a premium impression even if it’s not the startup screen. But very few apps have a lot of full-screen placements.

For most publishers, the best approach is to segment inventory into at least two tiers. Clearly define premium inventory and repackage the remaining as remnant inventory. For the remnant inventory, segmentation by content type or demographic can make it more attractive and command a better price.

Developing across multiple platforms, including iPad, iPhone, Android and mobile web, is one way to increase the volume of premium impressions. Another is to carefully evaluate the user experience and try to find opportunities to add strong performing placements.

Feature High Quality Content

Most established brands are very particular about where their advertising appears. When I first started my career, I was surprised when executives at a major beauty brand demanded to know which ads would appear in pages close to theirs in Vogue. They even had a list of brands that could not appear near their ad. They were protective, even obsessive about it, as brand advertisers should be. If you want to attract major brand advertisers, ensuring that the content will be relevant and high quality is extremely important.

This creates a big opportunity for small apps or sites in a specific niche like beauty, fitness, automotive, or finance. Brand advertisers are actively looking for impressions in those categories. If your content it tasteful, highly targeted and relevant, you don’t need to have a lot of inventory to attract big brands.

Texting apps, social networks, and other types of user generated content are not considered premium. In fact, these impressions are penalized for being extremely low quality. They carry significant risk for advertisers, as the publishers can’t guarantee the relevancy or context of the ad. Almost everyone has seen strange pairings of ads from keyword recognition. A story about a serial killer, featuring an ad for knives. Or the description of car accident triggering an ad for an auto brand. For a many ad executives, just one ad out of context could be a death sentence for a brand.

Have a Unique and Differentiated Offering

Brand advertisers are always searching for interesting ideas and opportunities. Going beyond the standard banner ad is a great way to attract them. Rich media, video and other unique display formats are all very attractive. But be careful. If the opportunity is too custom, you run the risk of escalating implementation costs, which increases overhead and reduces margins. Also, these formats can become a barrier to increasing the user base as they tend to be intrusive.

Native advertising is a new approach in mobile and it has been very successful for direct marketing. Some brands have embraced it and the combination of native with video looks very promising. Ultimately, it’s how native ads are implemented in your app or site that will determine if it is appropriate for a given brand.

Offering unique data for reporting and targeting is another way a publisher can differentiate. Advertisers value gender targeting, interest targeting, age targeting and other types of audience segmentations greatly. If you collect this or can easily infer this information about your users, it can be very valuable. Going beyond CTR and offering additional reporting information is also interesting for customers. Consider how you can provide advertising engagement metrics such as interaction time or number of shares.

Develop Your Brand as a Publisher

Brand advertisers are attracted to other brands. Building your brand as a publisher will work wonders when trying to attract brand dollars from advertisers. While it may sound simplistic, it’s true. Well known publications, magazines, newspapers, television networks and other media outlets command the majority of brand dollars. Even with the explosion of options in digital media, well established media brands remain the preferred vehicle for most brand advertisers in mobile.

If you want to attract the best brands and advertisers, you will need to drink your own champagne. There is no better way to establish trust with big brands than to become a big brand in your own right.

TapSense WWDC Party =  π x 2

Join us after WWDC on Monday, June 2nd to learn about our 10 Million Dollar RTB Fund for app publishers. There will be food, drinks, pool, and for the second year in a row, hot apple pie.

Registration in advance is required for entry:

apple pie

The TapSense 10 Million Dollar RTB Fund promotes app publisher adoption of real-time bidding (RTB) technology. Through the RTB Fund, TapSense ensures mobile publishers receive the full amount of their floor CPM for all ad auctions that clear, with no fees and a 100% revenue share.

TapSense Launches 10 Million Dollar RTB Fund for Mobile Publishers

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9, 2014 — Today, TapSense, a leading mobile advertising platform, announced the launch of a 10 million dollar investment initiative to fund app publisher adoption of real-time bidding (RTB) technology. Through the RTB Fund, TapSense guarantees mobile publishers will receive the full amount of their floor CPM for all ad auctions that clear. This eliminates fees TapSense normally charges, and provides publishers with 100% of the revenue from all advertising sold.

With TapSense’s private mobile RTB marketplace, publishers can access hundreds of demand partners through programmatic selling and increase monetization by 5x or more as buyers compete for inventory. In addition to mediation of ad network demand. They can also set floor CPMs, whitelist demand partners, set black lists, mediate ad networks and filter ad traffic. The TapSense platform operates at massive scale across, with access to 10 billion high quality ad impression monthly, across 60 of the top 100 mobile publishers.

Ash Kumar, CEO and Founder of TapSense, says “Real-time bidding technology is revolutionizing the entire advertising industry by allowing publishers to sell their inventory in an automated way. This innovative technology is great for publishers, as it reduces overhead and increase competition for inventory. With our RTB Fund, we’re providing even more incentive for mobile publishers to make their inventory available through programmatic selling, instead of adding headcount to their sales teams.”

Starting today, all publishers who adopt the TapSense RTB Premium App Publisher Solution will be automatically enrolled in the program. The fund will be in operation until the end of the year, or until it is depleted.

To sign up or learn more, visit

About TapSense

TapSense is a leading mobile advertising platform that provides a private RTB (Real Time Bidding) marketplace solution, and has been featured in publications including Forbes, Bloomberg, VentureBeat, GigaOM,, MediaPost, Entrepreneur and AdExchanger.

TapSense was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco, California. Investors include top Silicon Valley venture firms, Ron Conway’s SV Angel and Maynard Webb, a board member of Salesforce and Yahoo.

TapSense is a member of the Mobile Marketing Association.


Big Day for TapSense PR – iMediaConnection, WeWork Blog and CMSWire

When it rains, it pours. Today was a big day for TapSense public relations efforts. We had three separate pieces hit today:

CMS Wire: TapSense Mobile Ad Guide Helps Clear the Fog
Gregory Kennedy, vice president of marketing at TapSense, told CMSWire that one of the big takeaways of this year’s edition is the rise of programmatic and real-time bidding, adding that “automated buying and selling will dominate the mobile landscape by the end of the year.”

iMedia Connection: What is a private mobile RTB marketplace and how does it work?
A private mobile RTB marketplace connects publishers to demand sources. The advertiser, or demand side, bids on mobile ad impressions in real time from publishers, or the supply side. The term “private” means that a specific publisher has opted to sell their inventory on an exchange, but they limit and control the demand side.

WeWork Magazine: How we generated thousands of leads in 3 months
In a startup, you need to gain traction fast. As the head of marketing or growth, it’s your job to deliver breakthrough results with limited resources, a small budget, no existing brand awareness, and a team that’s virtually untested.

TapSense Ad Flow: Show multiple ads in one ad slot

TapSense ad flow is a plug and play native ad format that integrates easily into most iOS and Android apps. The simple swipe and touch user interface displays multiple ads in a single ad slot, significantly improving publishers’ monetization. It supports app download, video and mobile web for maximum flexibility.

Each ad can be auctioned separately through RTB. The first ad shown is sold at the highest CPM. Each ad that follows can be sold at a lower CPM. This helps encourage competition between advertisers, as they vie for the first slot. It can also be sold as a package, with one advertiser buying up the entire unit, to create a unique and exciting advertising experience.

For more information contact:

Guide to Smartphone Advertising Formats

Mobile display ad formats are similar to display ad formats on the PC, and they incorporate many of the same characteristics. With the emergence of smartphones, many of the more dynamic formats transitioned over to mobile devices. The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) has provided guidelines for mobile banner ad formats for more than ten years. What follows is a guide to the most popular smartphone formats:

Mobile Banner Ads and Interstitials

Standard Mobile Banner

A standard smartphone banner ad is 320×48 pixels, which works exactly the same as a standard web banner ad. A smartphone banner ad can appear at the top or bottom of your device’s screen. It can be inside a mobile app or on a mobile web page. This standard format does not support rich media.

Use Case:
This mobile ad format is too small to deliver a message more complex than a logo and a tagline. It has the greatest reach, the most targeting options, and is the least expensive of all formats. Also, it can be purchased in small amounts, which makes it accessible to advertisers of all sizes.

Mobile Adhesion Banner

A mobile adhesion banner ad is a banner ad that appears at the top or bottom of the screen, and it’s scroll proof. This means that as the user scrolls up or down, the banner ad stays locked at its initial position.

Use Case:
It’s great for mobile websites or apps with long scrolling pages. It also eliminates advertiser concerns over ad viewability. However, depending on the size of the banner, it is prone to accidental clicks.

Mobile Expandable Banner

A mobile expandable banner is a standard mobile banner ad, that when tapped by the user, brings up a full-screen ad. There are also formats that only use half of the device screen as well.

Use Case:
Since it uses more display real estate, it is popular for rich media and video delivery. The other benefit of expandable banners is all engagement post expansion is very deliberate.

Mobile Pull Banner

A mobile pull banner ad is similar to the expandable banner ad. It is a banner ad at the top or bottom of the screen that a user can pull to see the entire ad. Once expanded, the user is exposed to a large content area that can deliver rich media, video, or a large message.

Use Case:
The benefits are almost identical to the expandable banners. The novelty aspect of how it expands, can increase engagement and make for more interesting creative executions.

Mobile Slider Banner

The mobile slider banner ad appears on top or bottom of the screen, that when a user slides left or right, the full ad appears. The format stays locked in place like the adhesion banner, but can show a full screen ad like the pull or expandable mobile banners.

Use Case:
The mobile slider format is very similar to the expandable or pull banner. It requires some form of user engagement in order to show the full ad. However, unlike the expandable, the user must slide the ad across their screen in order to see the rich media, which reduces accidental impressions.

Mobile Filmstrip Ad

The mobile filmstrip ad is a new ad format that the IAB introduced last year. The mobile filmstrip ad is a scrolling, multi-panel ad designed to allow for storytelling.

Use Case:
This ad format works very well for advertisers who need to provide a lot information on a particular product. These ads are highly engaging and have a very editorial feel when viewed on a tablet.

Full Page Mobile Flex Ad

A flex ad unit is another new ad format the IAB introduced last year. This unit takes up the entire screen and automatically adapts regardless of screen size. This ad unit can be launched from one of the banner ad formats listed above, or auto-launched based on user actions.

Use Case:
Full page flex ads are an attempt to bring responsive design to mobile advertising. The benefit of this approach is the advertiser only has to create one creative, which will work across multiple devices.

Mobile Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are an ad format that takes over the entire screen of a mobile device. Full-screen interstitials can contain a static image, rich media and even video. They generally appear in-between user actions in a mobile game or app.

Use Case:
Interstitial ads are a great way to drive engagement for advertisers. They provide a large canvas that makes it easy to deliver an advertiser’s message.

Mobile Messaging Marketing Formats

Mobile messaging has been a popular method of marketing since the mobile phone’s popularity with consumers surged in the 1990s. Many mobile services worked exclusively with SMS and MMS. Push notifications have increased in popularity as the messaging format of choice for marketers targeting smartphone users. The three most popular messaging formats are:

Push Notifications

A push notification is a message that an app’s owner sends directly to a user’s smartphone. While similar to SMS or MMS, push notifications use a different technology and don’t require the user to pay for each message.

Use Case:
Push notifications are directly integrated with the app, making the user experience better. They can also drive users to a specific section in a smartphone app, such as a product page.

SMS Messaging

SMS, or what is more popularly known as a text message, are short 130-character messages that can be sent to both feature phones and smartphones.

Use Case:
The ubiquity of SMS makes it popular with some marketers who want to reach the widest number of mobile users. SMS messages can also contain a URL or code that can be used to send confirmation messages for specific mobile services.

MMS Messaging

MMS is a form of text message that also support images and video. It is supported by a wide range feature phones and smartphones.

Use Case:
MMS is still popular for some marketers who want to send coupons or other messages to a wide variety of users, not just on smartphones.

Mobile Native Ads

Mobile Native Ads are an emerging ad format in which the ad adapts to the app’s user experience. This  allows advertisers to show ads within the context of an app. Currently, there are no standards regarding native ads, but the IAB is looking to publish a guideline later this year. The major publishers who currently support mobile native ads are:


Facebook pioneered the native format. Thier app install product is simple and has a lot of targeting options based on Facebook data.

Use Case:
Facebook mobile app install ads are great for marketers and advertisers who want to reach a broad range of consumers. It can also leverage existing Facebook marketing initiatives.


The Twitter native format, while similar to Facebook, has some significant differences. Twitter’s app cards allow app downloads from the twitter stream. Targeting is based on hashtags, followers and other data sets specific to Twitter.

Use Case:
Twitter app cards work well for advertisers that need to target niche audiences in real time.


Instagram native ads are brand new and they currently only allow promoted posts. Since Instagram is primarily photo sharing, all sponsored content requires images.

Use Case:
WIth no lead generation or app install product, instagram is a great choice for brand advertisers who want to increase their Instagram following. Expect more ad products to be released later this year.

Mobile Video Ads

Mobile video formats are generally pre-roll ads that appear before a video in an streaming app or as a full-screen interstitials. Video ads have increased in popularity recently and are great for brands who want to get more reach with a television spot. The most popular formats are:

15 or 30 Second Pre-roll

Pre-roll videos are very common within apps and streaming services. These are 15 or 30 second slots that are shown before the content the user wants to watch. Some publishers, such as YouTube, allow users to opt out of the pre-roll ad after 5 seconds.

Use Case:
This format is popular for television advertisers who want to get more reach for a TV spot. It’s becoming more and more popular with digital advertisers who want to promote their video content.


Mid-roll ads appear in the middle of the content the user is watching. These ads are also 15 or  30 seconds, and can be up to a minute long.

Use Case:
These ad are popular with streaming services that show full movies or TV shows. It is the ideal format for advertisers with compelling long form video content such as a movie trailer.


Post-roll ads are 15 or 30 second ads that play after the user’s content is finished. This advertising format never really gained much traction, since engagement was very low.

Use Case:
This format is still available from some streaming services and can work with compelling long form content.

Mobile Paid Search Ads

Paid search ads have been extremely popular on the PC and have gained significant traction on mobile. The three major forms of search advertising for mobile are:

Google AdWords

The largest of the paid search vendors. Google AdWords on mobile allows for search ads above the organic search results. With Google’s “enhanced campaigns,” local search is prioritized over other search results.

Use Case:
Google AdWords on mobile works well for mobile specific searches that incorporate location data or other mobile context data.

Bing Ads

Bing ads are very similar to Google AdWords in almost every way. They do have lower CPCs than Google, but that is due to less competition.

Use Case:
Very similar to Google AdWords, Big Ads are great for advertisers who are successful with local search and need maximum coverage.

Search Syndication

Paid search syndication incorporates results from Google and Bing into the search results on third party sites. These sites are called syndicate partners and can include major media properties and large retailers.

Use Case:
Paid search syndication can be a very attractive option for brand advertisers who need to maximize their search footprint.

A Complete Guide to Mobile Publishing for 2014

Guide to Mobile Publishing

We’re back, but this time with a twist. This is our first Special Edition of our Guide to Mobile Publishing 2014. Filled with insights, ideas and inspiration for publishers, guaranteed to help you earn more money from your app. This 21 page guide is essential reading for anyone who is serious about succeeding in mobile publishing in 2014.

Here are the highlights:

  • Tricks for Publishers on how they can succeed with mobile native ads
  • Important monetization trends for independent mobile publishers
  • Tips for publishers who want to attract brand advertisers
  • Mobile AdTech lingo explained
We cover all the most current topics including native ads, programmatic selling and RTB (real-time bidding). Click here to download your free copy.

TapSense Featured on Bloomberg News: “San Francisco Beating Silicon Valley With Growth in Jobs”

Bloomberg TapSense

TapSense was featured on Bloomberg News as a technology company that chose San Francisco over Silicon Valley. Technology jobs in San Francisco grew by 57% from 2010 to 2013. TapSense CEO Ash Kumar and software engineer J.M. Myers are featured in the video.

When J.M. Myers, a software engineer from Maryland, went west, he opted for San Francisco and a job at mobile-advertising startup TapSense — and not Silicon Valley. He’s far from alone.

Click to read and view the video: San Francisco Beating Silicon Valley With Growth in Jobs

A Complete Guide To Mobile Marketing for 2014: Third Edition – Out Now


We’re back with the all new third edition of our eBook. Filled with insights, ideas and inspiration for both publishers and advertisers, guaranteed to get you and your team excited about mobile marketing. It’s another 80 pages of essential reading for anyone who is serious about succeeding in mobile in 2014. Here are the highlights:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of mobile native ads and banner ads
  • A detailed guide to mobile marketing formats
  • Tips for publishers who want to attract brand advertisers
  • Inspirational success stories from other marketers

The Complete Guide to Mobile Marketing has been featured on publications such as Forbes, iMedia Connection, Internet Retailer, Giga Om and more. It’s become the definitive guide for marketers as they navigate the confusing and complex world of mobile. Click here to get your free copy.