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Latest Thinknear Research Shows Location Accuracy Still a Serious Challenge

Press Release

Latest Thinknear Research Shows Location Accuracy Still a Serious Challenge

Editor May 14, 2015

Location Score™ Index highlights opportunities for mobile marketers

Sunnyvale, CA – MAY 14, 2015Thinknear by Telenav (NASDAQ: TNAV), today announced the release of its latest Location Score™ Index, the only quarterly report monitoring the accuracy of location data used in the mobile advertising industry. There has been significant change in the industry since Thinknear published its first Location Score Index one year ago, but the accuracy of location data remains a challenge for marketers. Over the last year, the industry saw 2 – 3X growth in location-enabled programmatic mobile inventory and approximately 62 percent of ad requests now include location data. The ability to utilize a device’s location data is an integral part of why ad spend in mobile is growing at its current rate. Ensuring the availability of high-quality data is key to ensuring the continued growth of the industry.

Thinknear’s recent findings indicate that while the overall programmatic space continues to see tremendous growth—eMarketer reported a nearly 400% increase in U.S. mobile RTB ad spend in 2014—the quality of location data remains, on average, relatively unchanged from a year ago. Publisher behavior is slow to change, and predictions that the quality of publisher location data would improve rapidly have yet to be realized. Growth in the overall programmatic space means marketers have plenty of high-quality location-based inventory available, but finding it requires location-scoring technologies to filter out all but the most reliable data sets.

Thinknear’s analysis demonstrates that the industry-wide quarterly Location Score has ranged from 49 to 55 over the last year, indicating that publishers are still having difficulty providing reliable location data. The causes of data quality issues are often tied to a lack of publisher experience working with location data, as well as structural industry issues such as the current open RTB specification, which dictates the manner in which location data is shared.

A year ago, the industry believed data quality would quickly cease to be an issue,” said Loren Hillberg, President of Thinknear. “We know now that technologies such as our Location Score platform will be needed for some time to verify the quality of location data. We remain committed to working with trade groups such as the IAB and MMA on structural industry issues as well as educating our publisher partners on using location data more effectively.” Thinknear will continue to publish the Location Score Index on a semi-annual basis to track the state of the industry and bring transparency around data quality to its brand and agency partners.

“Location accuracy and data quality are significant issues for the industry,” said Ron Blevins, Vice President of Digital Strategy at Novus Media. “Changing publisher behavior is a slow process so tools like Thinknear’s Location Score are needed to help brands sort through the data.”

To compile its fourth quarterly report, Thinknear sampled and analyzed data from more than one billion ad impressions and performed location accuracy tests on more than 500,000 consumer ad experiences during the quarter.

For more information about Thinknear’s Location Score, and to download the full Location Score Index for free, please visit: http://locationscore.com.


Senior Contributing Editor
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