TextNow Expands the Value of Mobile App Inventory with LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution

The nation’s largest provider of free phone service broadens its addressable audience and creates a sustainable monetization strategy for in-app advertising

146 % eCPM (native ads)
35 % eCPM (banners)
73 % fill rate (banners)


Company Size

200+ employees


Telecommunications & Energy


Publishers and Platforms


InMobi Exchange (supply-side platform)

Use Cases

addressability, Automated Traffic Solution (ATS), inventory monetization, cookieless solution, RampID 

146 % eCPM (native ads)
35 % eCPM (banners)
73 % fill rate (banners)

The Challenge

In April 2021, Apple began requiring all apps that collect and use data to ask users for permission to share their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), Apple’s mobile ID. Many advertisers made moves to shift budgets to addressable and measurable media, and an app publishers experienced a painful impact on revenue as they navigated how they get appropriate opt-in from consumers and lean into these privacy changes.

TextNow, the largest provider of free phone service in the US, was vulnerable to these changes as app publisher; its business model relied on an in-app advertising revenue stream to maintain a free option for its 10 million monthly active users. The team needed to implement a sustainable monetization strategy for its advertising. The new approach would require a solution that adhered to Apple’s guidelines and prioritized customer privacy, while continuing to prove a worthy investment for advertisers.

As users are given more choice, and as data policies and privacy laws become more strict, we need to invest in solutions that will allow us to monetize our users in privacy-safe ways and mitigate the impact of addressability concerns caused by the disappearance of identifiers.

Evan Thor Director of Ad Monetization & Operations / TextNow

The Solution

TextNow turned to LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS), which allows marketers to buy authenticated inventory that does not rely on third-party cookies or mobile identifiers. It is powered instead by RampID, the most durable, privacy-centric identifier for connecting the digital and martech ecosystem. The solution works on authenticated traffic, increasing addressability for app users who have opted in. 

ATS provides consumers with increased relevance and privacy, advertisers with improved campaign performance, and publishers with more valuable inventory. TextNow was also drawn to ATS because they knew LiveRamp had been one of the first companies to develop expertise in this area in mobile. 

TextNow enabled ATS through UnifID, from their longtime partner InMobi, making TextNow’s authenticated ad inventory immediately available to over 400 of the world’s leading advertisers already using ATS. With people-based audience activation, advertisers would be able to identify, reach, and engage with their consumers at scale. TextNow then launched a test that would allow them to compare results for iOS ad placements sold using RampID with ads sold without RampID. 

The results we’ve seen give us confidence that we can continue to grow our business without sole dependence on device-based identifiers. As we navigate the ever-changing identity landscape, we are both proud and fortunate to have LiveRamp and InMobi on this journey with us.

Evan Thor Director, Ad Monetization and Operations / TextNow

The Results

TextNow found that LiveRamp could help it increase the profitability of its ad inventory significantly. During the course of the test, revenue earned per thousand ad impressions displayed (eCPM) increased by 146% for native ads using RampID and 35% for banner ads using RampID, compared to ads not using a people-based identifier. In other words, TextNow could sell ad placements with RampID at a much higher competitive price. Meanwhile, fill rate climbed 73% for banner ads using RampID, underscoring the demand from marketers willing to bid more on TextNow’s addressable inventory. 

The TextNow team was encouraged that while some traditional digital signals were going away, they could still ensure that their ad inventory continues to be a valuable asset for the company, offering advertisers a privacy-centric way to reach authenticated audiences at scale and connect with consumers wherever they are spending time. Meanwhile, the team felt better prepared for whatever changes are still to come.

Most importantly, with a healthy advertising strategy, TextNow can continue to attract new customers and delight loyal ones as the go-to service for free texting and phone calls, delivering on their core belief that “communication belongs to everyone.”

When new developments come, we’ll be ready to move on them.

Evan Thor Director, Ad Monetization and Operations / TextNow

What’s next?

If you’re ready to join the world’s most innovative companies and explore what data collaboration can do for you and your partners, LiveRamp is ready to help!

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