AOL Evolves Header Bidding, Solves Mobile Revenue Challenges for Publishers and App Developers with New Smart Yield

New solution maximizes revenue by unifying first and third party auctions

NEW YORK – AOL announced the beta launch of Smart Yield, a mobile-first solution that solves the challenge of leveling the demand bidding playing field for mobile publishers. By creating a unified auction, Smart Yield provides advertisers with the inventory they want and mobile publishers and app developers with the opportunity to gain the highest possible yield for each impression.

“Today, programmatic buyers have all the tools at their fingertips to find the exact audience they want”

Smart Yield brings the benefits of desktop-based header bidding in-app, allowing mobile publishers and app developers globally to bypass the traditional waterfall and get the full value of an app’s audience. Additionally, Smart Yield offers the first-ever server-to-server and client-side hybrid mobile header bidding solution, which eliminates the latency associated with multiple monetization partners and improves consumer experience.

“With the death of the waterfall comes a new opportunity for publishers,” said Matt Gillis, SVP, Publisher Platforms at AOL. “As they have seen success with header bidding across their desktop inventory, they want to see that play out across all screens. And as ad spend on mobile has increased, the need to bring the concept of header bidding to mobile in-app experiences has, too. We are excited to launch Smart Yield, which will give mobile publishers the power to capitalize on their inventory and maximize yield.”

The emergence of header bidding has supported major revenue increases for desktop-based digital publishers. It dramatically improved the sequential bid process, allowing advertisers to compete directly in a unified auction before ad server calls, which has raised CPMs. AOL ran an analysis for publishers on its platform before implementation and after implementation of header bidding, and found a 53% increase in daily revenue for mobile web and desktop display. Smart Yield now brings these capabilities to mobile publishers. It flattens the traditional, sequential waterfall, allowing AOL demand partners to compete at the same time for the same inventory, and ultimately resulting in higher yield for publishers and app developers.

Additionally, Smart Yield delivers:

  • Unified Demand: Smart Yield is the one of the first in-app mobile header solutions to provide a unified auction across first and third-party demand. Users will have access to a unified group of premium first-party advertisers, third-party demand sources, and AOL’s premium O&O brands.
  • Transparency: The Smart Yield solution provides a transparent marketplace for both sellers and buyers, providing visibility over the auction outcome. Additionally, publishers receive transparent reporting to highlight which demand sources are purchasing inventory and overall revenue lift.
  • Efficiency: Mobile-first publishers and app developers have typically had to work with dozens of monetization partners to drive yield, while devoting hours to ordering partners in an already-broken waterfall. This demands engineering resources for integration, as well as untold additional capital. Smart Yield is a comprehensive solution that maximizes yield with one easy-to-install integration, while eliminating the once onerous ordering process.
  • No Latency: More monetization partners means more code added within an app. This significantly delays load times, negatively impacting the end-user experience. Smart Yield is the first-ever server-to-server and client-side hybrid header bidding solution for mobile publishers, eliminating growing latency concerns.

“Header bidding puts control back into the hands of publishers and we’re excited to join AOL’s beta in bringing these capabilities in-app,” said Bill Alena, Chief Revenue Officer of The Meet Group, owner of popular social apps, including MeetMe. “As the digital ecosystem evolves, it’s important for us to maintain a level of transparency and efficiency in order maximize yield and support our high standard of consumer experience. We’ve long been a partner of AOL and their mobile-first expertise and unique demand helps keep us on top.”

“Today, programmatic buyers have all the tools at their fingertips to find the exact audience they want,” added Gillis. “But the same tools have not existed for publishers to maximize the value of their audience – especially across mobile. Publishers are right to wonder if their inventory is worth more. They are also right to be frustrated with how much time they spend optimizing the traditional, sequential bid process. Smart Yield changes all of that and gives them a real solution to disrupt the mobile status quo.”

Smart Yield is available in beta globally to interested mobile publishers and app developers using AOL’s programmatic mobile supply-side platform. ONE by AOL: Mobile is a part of ONE by AOL: Publishers – a complete solution built for mobile publishers, providing all the tools they need to be successful monetizing their inventory.

For more on Smart Yield, visit

About AOL:

AOL is a global, mobile media technology company with a mission to build brands people love. AOL is recognized as a leader in the digital space, dedicated to delivering premium content to consumers and innovative advertising solutions to brands and publishers. A subsidiary of Verizon, AOL is shaping the digital future.