Telefónica starts exchange for targeted mobile ads

Axonix' ambition is to compete with Google, Facebook and Twitter in the mobile ad space

Telecom operator Telefónica has launched the first mobile ad-exchange platform to use the operator's customer demographics and real-time location data to serve targeted mobile ads, the company said on Wednesday.

The Spanish telecom provider launched the ad-exchange together with private equity firm Blackstone. The London based advertising company is called Axonix and will rely on technology acquired from MobClix, Telefónica said. MobClix went bankrupt last year.

Axonix' ambition is to compete with Google, Facebook and Twitter in the mobile ad space by using the data the company collects from its 330 million customers, the company said.

It will especially focus on regions like Latin America where mobile advertising is in its infancy and big tech companies currently have a limited presence, Axonix said. But mobile advertising space will also be sold in the U.S. and Europe, it added.

Telefónica will share demographic customer data such as gender, age, home address, handset and contract information as well as real-time location data and inferred interests based on historical mobile behavior with Axonix, said Axonix CEO Simon Birkenhead.

"All of this will be anonymized and aggregated, with all personally identifiable information removed before it is passed to Axonix in order to ensure we comply with privacy and data protection regulations," he said.

"Partners and advertisers will be able to use the data to target their ads to specific segments of customers who have the required characteristics or interests," he added.

Axonix will operate as an independent company with Telefónica and Blackstone as its shareholders. CEO Birkenhead was formerly Telefónica's director of global advertising sales.

During 2014, Telefónica will be integrating its anonymized customer data into Axonix to allow its partners and publishers to benefit from Telefónica's verified demographic and real-time location data, Birkenhead said. "Few other companies are able to provide verified data for mobile advertising," he said, adding that no other exchanges will have access to Telefónica data.

The telecom operator's move comes at a time that mobile advertising is taking off, according to figures published by ZenithOptimedia in early April. The company estimated that the global expenditure on mobile ads will grow from US$13.4 billion in 2013 to $45 billion in 2016, representing 28 percent of Internet advertising expenditures and 7.6 percent of all, it said.

"This means mobile will leapfrog radio, magazines and outdoor to become the world's fourth-largest medium by the end of our forecast period," it predicted.

Axonix is entering a market that has the interest of the big tech companies from Silicon valley. Twitter for instance bought the mobile-focused ad exchange MoPub in September last year, reportedly for about $350 million. And Google bought mobile ad company AdMob in 2009 for $750 million.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityprivacymobilemobile marketingdigital advertisingTelefónicaBlackstoneAxonix

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?