Nokia launches ad exchange to lure in developers

Nokia (s nok) is in a tough spot these days, falling out of the top five in smartphone sales for the first time while it pins its hopes on Windows Phone 8 (s msft) and new hardware to revive handset sales again.  That’s not a recipe for success in attracting developers.

But Nokia is trying to cozy up to developers with the launch of a new ad exchange that it hopes will help developers make money and get their apps discovered on not just Nokia devices but all mobile platforms.

Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX), which is built off of Inneractive’s technology, will allow developers to access 120 ad networks in 200 countries and target Windows Phone 8, Series 40 and Symbian phones but also hit iOS (s aapl), Android (s goog) and BlackBerry (s rimm) from one dashboard. Developers can rely on NAX to automatically optimize in-app ads or run their own campaigns. And they can take revenue from one platform and invest it in another.

The deal is part of a larger effort by Nokia to become a better business partner to its app developers. With Windows Phone 8 still trailing Apple’s iTunes Store and Google Play by a big margin, Nokia is focusing on making sure it can offer monetization tools for developers. It’s also offering a new premium developer program, that allows developers to get $1,500 worth of services and support for $99.

But, until Nokia can promise developers a big and growing addressable market, I don’t know if NAX will be that much of a lure. Having one tool that simplifies in-app advertising across platforms is helpful but most developers are already doing what they need to do to advertise on various platforms.

Offering NAX may be attractive for existing Nokia developers but, for non-Nokia and Windows Phone 8 developers, many, I imagine, will wait until Nokia device sales grow enough that it makes sense to use a tool like NAX.