An Interview with Smaato’s Mohamed Ben Hiba
Depending on where you’re located in the world, you’re either somewhat familiar with the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system, and its status as a strong smartphone OS challenger to Android and iOS, or you’re extremely familiar with it, and routinely see it used in the hands of Nokia, LG, Acer, HTC and Cherry Mobile users on the streets of your city or town.
Get used to it. Windows Phone shipped on over 9 million devices worldwide in Q1 2015, according to IDC, and it continues to grow in markets around the world. Smaato has built its SPX platform to seamlessly work with Windows Phone, and we’re fairly unique in driving demand traffic to mobile websites and apps on this operating system.
Knowing this, we sat down for a quick Q & A with Mohamed Ben Hiba, Smaato’s Director of Supply Partnerships in our EMEA region, and asked him for background and detail on just why Windows Phone app developers & publishers and Smaato work so well together.
Q: What makes Smaato's SPX platform such a strong fit for Windows Phone publishers and app developers?
Mohamed Ben Hiba: While SPX is not specifically targeted for Windows Phone app developers and publishers, we don’t limit ourselves to any kind of operating system and think it’s best to go where the developers are – and they’re not all exclusively on Android and iOS. Our competitors – other platforms and SSPs – only tailor their demand sources around Android and iOS. We have built our demand platform around mediation and our ad exchange around mobile in general.
We have many demand sources around the world who naturally also focus on iOS and Android, but many others want to focus on global mobile traffic in general, which makes Windows Phone a great fit. We also get great feedback from our demand partners on the Windows Phone traffic we are adding to their pipes, so it’s working out really well for us. The lack of choice when it comes to this platform, and our growing integration of it, is working out well for Smaato.
Q: What made Smaato choose to open its platform to Windows Phone, in addition to its strong focus on Android and iOS?
Mohamed Ben Hiba: We are agnostic, and want to add value to any mobile inventory that’s out there, whether it’s mobile web or in-app traffic; whether it’s on a leading operating system or a smaller one. We’re even still monetizing BlackBerry traffic, and some feature phone leftovers across Southeast Asia. This mirrors both our philosophy and our footprint around the world.
With an ad exchange, it shouldn’t be about being exclusive to any particular operating systems, but rather having the right data in place so the user can be identified in the right manner, and so it creates value for the campaign or the targeting of our buyers. The buyer doesn’t care that much about whether it’s a Windows Phone user or an iOS user if he hits the targets he’s set, and if the platform he’s using is giving that buyer the right indicators to identify this user.
Q: Where are the Windows Phone publishers Smaato works with located?
Mohamed Ben Hiba: We’re going where the users are, and Windows Phone users are growing around the world. Most of the developers we work with are located in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East & Africa), but our biggest Windows Phone publisher is located in the US: Microsoft.
Microsoft is using Smaato as a demand source, one of their preferred demand sources in fact, in order to monetize their Windows Phone traffic. They clearly see the value we provide.
Q: How long has Smaato monetization been available on Windows Phone?
Mohamed Ben Hiba: From the very beginning of that operating system. One of our strengths in the market has been our ability to be the first to have an SDK ready for any kind of platform as it emerges.
Q: Are there any new tools or features planned for Windows Phone app developers on Smaato’s roadmap?
Mohamed Ben Hiba: Yes. We’re already working on a new SDK with video support for Windows Phone. You can certainly expect more to follow after that.