Yahoo Makes Big Play in Mobile Advertising

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It agrees to buy Flurry, a mobile ad exchange used in more than 400,000 apps.

Yahoo buys access to 1.4 billion devices.
Yahoo buys access to 1.4 billion devices.

Expressing that mobile is at the center of everything it does, Yahoo yesterday announced it had reached an agreement to purchase Flurry, a company that last year was the subject of a Forbes article titled, “Meet the Company that Tracks More Phones Than Google or Facebook.”

According to Yahoo, 170,000 app developers use Flurry, which offers its analytics and real-time bidding platform to them at no charge. Each month, Flurry is activated in around1.4 billion devices, each of which holds an average of seven apps containing the program. Some 8,000 publishers take advantage of its advertising exchange.

In its Q2 earnings report last week, Yahoo claimed its mobile display and search revenue grew more than 100% year over year, but declined to put an actual number on its mobile ad revenues. Digital ad revenue projections released last week by eMarketer had Yahoo being overtaken by Microsoft for the number 3 slot this year. Yahoo was not included in a breakout of the top eight mobile ad players led by Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

In a press release announcing the deal, Yahoo stated that Flurry would energize its ability to support apps and increase its monetization capabilities. Flurry, it said, would benefit from gaining the resources to speed its delivery platforms for building apps and placing relevant ads through its exchange. “Over the last six years we have accomplished a lot on our own, but with Yahoo we are in an even better position to achieve our joint goals," commented Simon Khalaf, Flurry's president and CEO.

More than half of Yahoo's total monthly audience arrives via mobile, the company reports, adding that the 450 million monthly visitors to Yahoo in Q2 was a 36% increase over 2013. The average Yahoo user spends 86% of their smartphone time in apps.

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