Yesterday location-based mobile ad network JiWire announced that it had changed its name to “NinthDecimal,” with a new focus on “audience intelligence.” Location is still there but it’s more in the background.
In its marketing copy the company says that it’s “building the most comprehensive understanding of people by connecting their digital and physical lives.” The emphasis here is on online + offline rather than “location” per se.
This rebranding is not unlike xAd’s earlier repositioning from a network that can deliver “location at scale” to the “intersection of people and places.” Similarly xAd is trying to appeal more broadly to brand marketers.
Local and even “location” have been historically misunderstood by marketers. The term “local” still conjures up “small business,” which is what some of these companies are running from.
Today, by my calculation, location-targeted mobile advertising represents about 20% to 25% of mobile ad dollars (not 50% as some suggest). Increasingly, however, location is being used a methodology to discover and target audiences rather than an end in itself. Thus it will play an increasing role in mobile advertising but often in the background.
NinthDecimal says that it achieved profitability in 2013 and its revenues are on track to double in 2014. Yesterday the company also announced a mobile video ad partnership with TubeMogul.