Twitter and the Ad Stack: Redefining How Large Publishers and Data Owners Go To Market?


Twitter’s $350mm acquisition of mobile ad exchange MoPub is generating lots of conversation in the AdTech community this week, and rightfully so. The acquisition could represent a significant move by a major player into building out its own ad stack. You can read Twitter product manager Kevin Weil’s rationale for the MoPub deal here.

As a publisher, Twitter could be showing other publishers that the way to control and maximize the monetization of proprietary inventory is to own more of the ad stack, specifically an exchange that is already tapped into dozens of buying platforms. Google (and arguably Yahoo!) is the other major publisher that owns an active exchange. Microsoft has invested in AppNexus but does not own it. By owning an exchange, Twitter will gain both deeper understanding and greater control of how its inventory is being valued and placed relative to the other inventory being run through MoPub. This will give Twitter deep insights into what types of inventory are working and should be very valuable in determining what advertising products to roll out going forward. Perhaps other major publishers will take note and decide to get into the ad stack game as well?

And as a data owner, Twitter could be showing other data owners that the way to maximize the value of their data, while also controlling its use, is to own an ad exchange where it can impact the value of all impressions running through the exchange. So, instead of selling data through a data broker, or licensing its data directly to advertisers, Twitter can enable its data on any of the inventory running through MoPub. This will likely provide better monetization of their data, and also will provide insights on the performance driven by various types of data at various recency levels. Again, Google is the other major data owner that owns an exchange, but other data owners have largely stayed away from dipping into the ad stack. No doubt they will be watching this closely.

What do you think? Will Twitter’s move inspire other publishers and data owners to build their own ad stacks? It only seems fitting to continue a conversation about Twitter on Twitter itself. Tell us what you think @simpli_fi.