Why I’m Helping to Build Brand & Agency Demand at ironSource

It’s been a little over two years since my former company, Receptiv (f/k/a MediaBrix), was acquired. That was a bittersweet moment filled with pride, sadness, and exhaustion. Starting in January 2019 I decided to decompress, spend more time with my family, and focus on my mental and physical health to get ready for what was next. I couldn’t sit still, so I taught an MBA course on Mobile Marketing, developed two business plans, became a vegetarian, spent a lot of time with my family, and rode over 2,500 miles on my mountain bike.

While I was doing all of the above, I also became a Strategic Advisor at ironSource, helping the management team with sales, marketing, biz dev and corp dev strategy for brand/agency demand. What initially started as a four month, part-time engagement became a year and a half of hard work, tremendous progress, and most importantly, finding a family.

Now I’m extremely excited to announce that I am part of that family and have become a full time member of ironSource as the VP of Strategic Development. 

I have always believed that brands belonged within in-app, mobile, video, and mobile games - it was the reason I launched MediaBrix back in 2011, led the IAB Games and Rewarded Video Committees and probably the reason I was named one of Adweek’s Mobile Innovators Shaping the Future of Advertising.  In order to be successful in today’s market, a company requires scale, transparency, innovation and, in an industry focused on supply path optimization, you also need to be the direct source of quality supply.  

That’s asking a lot, and many of the mobile companies out there can’t offer more than one of those criteria. What excites me is that, ironSource not only offers all four, but has been the market leader with performance advertisers for years, and is quickly becoming the leader for brand advertisers as well.   

Gaming is more relevant now than ever. Especially during a year like 2020, mobile gaming is an engaging and safe distraction from the misinformation, hate speech, politics, and UGC that plague other platforms. Consumers use games as a way to relax and escape, which is increasingly important in these times.  This explains why the engagement rates, time spent and overall audience size have hit all time highs.

In addition to providing a brand-safe environment for consumers and advertisers, the best mobile gametech companies must also be able to provide transparency in the supply chain. ironSource’s direct relationships with developers cut out unnecessary ad tax and middlemen, provide effective pricing, and reduce the risk of  fraud. ironSource’s emphasis on the product and tech is crucial to the success of the company and pivotal to why I signed on.

After spending the past twenty years in ad tech, starting at DoubleClick in 2000, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with a lot of special people.  If I was going to stay in this industry I wanted to work at a market-leading company built by some of the kindest and smartest people I’ve met.  That company is ironSource - their commitment to innovation and leadership is driven by a strong culture of passionate people who also like to have fun. That’s a winning combination that I’m excited to be part of.


Ari Brandt, pictured with Brands Team in Seychelles