MoPub Drops Its Price For Ad Network Mediation To Zero

It’s the one-year anniversary of MoPub‘s marketplace for real-time bidding on mobile ads, and the company is celebrating by eliminating the cost for publishers to participate.

CEO Jim Payne told me that the company wants to encourage as many publishers to use the MoPub Marketplace as possible. After all, he said real-time bidding is “a better way of doing things,” and bringing more ad inventory into the system means MoPub can make more money from advertisers. And yes, some publishers have declined to participate in the marketplace because the current costs are too high. For example, Payne estimated that under MoPub’s current pricing structure, a mid-sized publisher seeing 500 million ad impressions a month could end up paying $25,000.

“We’ve always wanted to do this,” he said — but the company had to wait until it grew and the economies of scale (the marketplace delivered 18 billion ad impressions in the past month) made sense. He compared MoPub to Gmail, which Google can offer for free to consumers because it has the big enough audience to make money solely from advertising. (Google’s ad network mediation products, AdWhirl and AdMob Mediation, are also free for publishers.) Payne added that MoPub has been “driving the costs down as fast as we can.”

To be clear, the price cut only applies to ad network mediation — if a publisher is also using MoPub to manage ads from they’ve sold directly, they still have to pay the fee.

As for the timing, Payne said making the price cut now made sense, not just because of the one-year anniversary, but also because it puts MoPub in a good position to take advantage of holiday ad spending.