Angry Birds tests direct programmatic solutions as brands ‘move dollars’ to the space

Angry Birds maker Rovio is testing new, 'direct programmatic' capabilities across its digital portfolio as brands continue to dedicate increasing amounts of budget to the programmatic space.

The entertainment company and publisher already has a private real-time bidding (RTB) marketplace where advertisers can bid on its remnant inventory, which is not game specific, but is now rolling out a new, direct programmatic solution that will let select advertisers choose which inventory they wish to place ads against.

Michele Tobin, vice president of brand partnerships and advertising, told The Drum that the new solution, while still in the testing phase, will serve as a “direct sell” for brands in a non-bidding environment, with campaigns to then be run programmatically via its partner mobile programmatic provider Nexage.

“We are rolling out our direct programmatic offering to select brands, which will enable them to buy direct with our sales team, with transparency and targeting against guaranteed inventory, set pricing and execute that buy programmatically.

“Direct programmatic is in early testing phase I would say - more of a direct sell, so advertisers choose the games and Toons TV inventory they want, with programmatic execution.”

The solution will be sold by Rovio’s direct Salesforce on a cost per mille (CPM) basis, as it does with all of its direct deals.

Tobin said that she expects direct programmatic to become increasingly important at Rovio over the next year as it pushes out a number of new ad opportunities for games such as Stella and Friends, a Angry Birds franchise, and the female targeted Juice Cube app.

“We are a very sizeable publisher with a tremendous amount of inventory, so we can provide brands that are looking to execute programmatic buys, whether it's mobile video or just play. We can provide them with direct programmatic solutions and I think looking into next year I think that’s going to become increasingly important as well.

“If you talk to brands like Proctor & Gamble and Kellogg’s they’ve all very publicly stated that they’re going to be moving more significant amounts of their budget to programmatic. I think in mobile it will take maybe a little bit longer but I think throughout next year you’re going to be seeing that scaling up.

“We are prepared for that now – we’re running some tests and I think we’re going to be in a good position as brands are ready to move dollars to be able to support that.”

Rovio recently introduced mobile video advertising within its Angry Birds franchise as a way for brands, such as Star Wars and Transformers to place engaging in-app ads.

Programmatic direct is a direct deal for guaranteed inventory executed via technology, to automate and streamline sales and integrating with the publisher's ad server to make price and inventory availabilitey acessible to buyers.

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