With advertising as their main source of revenue, Imgur relies on App Annie Ascend to expand their ad stack and accelerate their analytical decision process.




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Imgur (pronounced Imager) is an entertainment website and app powered by a community who creates and shares fun pictures, memes and GIFs of pets, movies, TV shows, art, you name it. With over 150 million monthly active users, and over 40 demand stack connections, a main source of revenue comes from advertising.

App Annie Ascend has proved essential to accelerate programmatic operations at Imgur.

According to Brad, responsible for managing the programmatic operations at Imgur, reporting was a highly manual process before he joined two years ago.

With 20 data connections to keep track of, finding actionable insights from the data was a difficult task. "One of the clear challenges at the beginning was that data collection was done manually through Google Sheets, it wasn’t easy to manipulate."

Data aggregation, as the first step in a long process to insights, was taking too long to organize and validate for Brad and his team. "Just dealing with the reporting line up and getting the aggregated basic number together took at least 3 hours of my day."

Speeding up the Analytical Decisions Process

Another hurdle to overcome was transforming and enriching raw data for organized reporting with data normalization. "We didn't have a real way of normalizing all the data at once. It was very hard to normalize it by demand source in a significant way, whether it's a PMP, a direct deal or an exchange," says Brad. With App Annie Ascend "we simply create rules and new data is automatically enriched when ingested," he adds. In fact, the solution allows users to edit dimensions in bulk or create custom rules for newly ingested data, making data normalization a walk in the park.

App Annie Ascend also helps the team at Imgur make data-driven decisions in an agile way. "I wanted to be able to slice and dice the data in the ways we needed to be able to actually make analytical decisions." Key metrics such as revenue, impressions, requests, as well as CPM, Fill rate, ARPDAU and ARPU, are now easily shared across product, analytics, sales and finance operations and executive teams.

Expanding the Ad Stack and Growing Revenue

Managing the constantly changing advertising ecosystem is complex. Despite changes in bidding solutions and technologies, Brad states that App Annie Ascend also helps them optimize the solutions they use based on the value that each partner provides on a daily basis. "We have header bidding, a javascript tag and SDK waterfall and we want to make sure that our partners are placed in the right order based on how they actually deliver."

"I simply need to access App Annie Ascend to check CPMs, Fill Rate or any other metric and break these down by item or cohort. I get that value a lot faster across all the demand partners on a single platform instead of going to different consoles and loading this data that sometimes takes 10 minutes per partner."

With App Annie Ascend all their processes are faster. "App Annie Ascend saves us at least 7 days on a project that otherwise can take up to 30," he states.

Adding new partners to your advertising mix is essential to growth, but often comes with a lot of effort and red-tape. App Annie Ascend helped empower the Imgur team to add new connections with ease. "App Annie Ascend not only saves us time but allows us to add more partners and manage them faster. There is no extra effort to add another partner." Now their ad stack has over 40 data sources, with 50% of their revenue coming from these additional connections.

In addition to the software creating new opportunities, App Annie Ascend has a highly responsive support team as well. Brad noted that: "adding new partners into the set up is fast and intuitive. We are very happy with the customer service side of things with App Annie and everyone has been great. We are very happy with App Annie Ascend."

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