A leader in the wireless industry, TextNow provides millions of consumers with unlimited talk and text freedom around the globe. Their mission is to change the way people communicate through exceptional and affordable phone service.

The Brief

TextNow needed a programmatic solution for their free-calling applications which would effectively monetize users with long session durations.

90% of their users arrived organically, so TextNow was looking to understand and protect the end-user experience while balancing goals such as:

  • Revenue – With 20% of overall users on their web applications, TextNow wanted to lift revenue and performance by generating the most fill at the highest CPM rate on their web-based ad inventory.
  • Fill – As a free texting application, TextNow’s users tend to have very long session durations on a single page. TextNow used an ad refresh strategy in an attempt to better monetize this setup, but had difficulty achieving a high fill rate, resulting in a percentage of their inventory going unsold.
  • Understanding the Impact of Changes – Prior to Freestar, TextNow experimented with an open-source header bidding solution, and a third-party reporting platform to make sense of revenue performance. It was difficult to isolate the impact of different ad execution strategies which slowed down iteration and understanding how to optimize.

"Freestar is agnostic to who monetizes our inventory, and we trust their judgment on what ad placement or refresh rates can do to improve viewability, fill rate, and overall yield. We look at them as a data-driven team with a solution that provides core facts and guidance on making the right decision to increase yield."

Our Approach

TextNow formed a cross-functional group comprised of product, operations, and engineering resources to assess Freestar’s solution against other providers.

Over a two-month testing period, Freestar identified areas to optimize on TextNow’s unsold inventory, particularly focusing on refresh rates and viewability.  Freestar worked with TextNow to reduce the inventory conditionally until fill and CPM improved, and then increase it again in an effort to maximize revenue. Hourly changes to refresh calls were monitored through Freestar Analytics. The resulting performance data provided actionable insights to power further changes.

The lightweight solution comprised of a minimal amount of code, combined with active guidance from the Freestar team, resulted in TextNow deploying Freestar across 100% of their display inventory.

The Results

After working with Freestar, TextNow saw significant increases to viewability, CPM, and yield. Freestar’s data and analytics revealed opportunities to improve ad products and behaviours that increased viewability by over 220% and CPM by over 148%.

TextNow was able to target and reduce underperforming inventory while Freestar worked to add demand density through new strategic relationships, including Freestar’s server-to-server differentiated demand. Once viewability and demand density improved, more, higher CPM impressions were able to monetize across fewer ad calls.


increase in viewability


increase in CPMs