The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) China is assuming governance of the testing of an open source software development kit (SDK), which paves the way for a more transparent media buying ecosystem on mobile devices.
Participating in the test are 26 companies: Coca-Cola, Danone, Mars, P&G, Unilever, Visa, FunTV, iQiyi, Madhouse, PPTV, Qunar, Sina, Sohu, Toutiao, Adbug, AdMaster, ComScore, CTR, Grapeshot, Gridsum, IAS, Miaozhen Systems, Moat, Nielsen, RTBAsia, and Sinomonitor—of which 13 are independent ad verification vendors.
Once deployed, the unified MMA China SDK, first released in May this year, allows 'lightweight' monitoring and verification without integrating multiple SDKs from various parties, and thus reducing the necessary load time on the user side.
"MMA China has been promoting the standardisation of mobile advertising and is committed to providing a wide range of practical applications," said Joshua Maa, head of the association's Mobile Advertising Standards and Measurement Committee as well as the founder and CEO of Madhouse. MMA's China chapter was established in Shanghai back in April 2011. The committee expects preliminary test results in three months' time.
Development of the generic, cross-platform SDK is technically complex compared to previous browser-based tools, said Hong Bei, CTO of AdMaster. Compatibility tests are also delayed if users do not update their apps to the latest versions. "Even now, we see users with the 2014 version of iQiyi. There is no way around it if the user does not update," Hong told Campaign China.
In the past, allowing 13 third-party vendors to play in the ad verification field at the same time was not possible, said Hong. As far as the mobile media platforms in China are concerned, even one SDK risks an "invasion" of their sensitive data through backdoors. In addition, an SDK increases an app's size by more than a few megabytes, even for the most intuitively-built app.
The move is considered "particularly advanced" for the whole mobile media industry, Maa pointed out, as it led 13 third-party firms who are usually "opponents" to put aside their "quarrels" and come together. Only then can the industry slowly iterate, he added.