Kargo partners with AMP Project to expand mobile ad inventory

  • Mobile ad company Kargo partnered with the AMP Project, an open-source initiative to speed up download times of mobile websites, to provide marketers new ad formats. Kargo claims it’s the first company to offer optimized custom-ad formats on AMP, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
  • Bauer Media Group and Leaf Group are among the first media companies to offer Kargo’s ad format on their AMP pages. Its mobile-optimized ad products, including its Kargo Sidekick unit, will be available on AMP pages starting next month.
  • Kargo’s collaboration with the AMP Project follows requests from advertisers and publishers to boost media-buying opportunities and creative ad executions on mobile devices, per the announcement.

Kargo’s integration with the AMP Project promises to give mobile marketers a chance to buy ad inventory on publishers’ mobile web pages that are optimized for faster delivery, which could support their efforts to acquire new customers among mobile users finding these pages through organic search. For publishers, the integration means new opportunities to monetize their AMP pages and offer advertisers optimized custom ad formats.

The integration comes as mobile advertising continues to grow during the pandemic unlike some other segments. Mobile ad revenue in the U.S. is forecast to grow 10% this year and 12% next year, per a revised estimate by Magna Global, the research unit of Interpublic Group. In contrast, the researcher forecasts that the total U.S. ad market will shrink by 6.1% this year before bouncing back with 5.4% growth in 2021.

Kargo’s platform is integrated with demand-side platforms (DSPs) such as Google’s DV360, WarnerMedia’s Xandr, MediaMath and The Trade Desk. The planned integration with AMP comes as programmatic media spending is predicted to edge upward to 88% of all U.S. digital display ad spend by 2022 from 85% this year, eMarketer research suggests. It estimated the programmatic ad market, including mobile, will expand 6.2% to $63.3 billion this year, and another 26% to $79.6 billion in 2021 as demand recovers from the pandemic.

Kargo last month announced a plan to buy Rhombus, the ad-tech company focused on embedding social content in brand-safe articles on publishers’ websites. It planned to integrate Rhombus’ Social Canvas technology into its sell-side platform (SSP), letting advertisers and publishers buy and sell unique ad placements. Meanwhile, Kargo has taken other steps to improve brand safety for marketers, including this year’s introduction of brand safety features to help marketers avoid placing ads next to articles about the coronavirus pandemic.

Google led the AMP Project to improve the mobile web experience, and faced criticism for having too much control over the way content is distributed online. In response, the company two years ago began loosening control of AMP with a consensus-seeking governance model that relies on a committee to make decisions about the technology. AMP is now part of the OpenJS Foundation, a group that supports open-source JavaScript projects.

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