Location-based mobile ad firm AdNear secures $6.3m in Series A funding
Singapore and India-based mobile advertising startup AdNear has announced that it has closed a Series A round of funding of Rs 35 crore (roughly $6.3 million) from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners. AdNear plans to use the fresh capital to support its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region and to add more people to the team, VC Circle reports.
The mobile advertising platform built by AdNear is based on real-time geo-location and works for both smartphones and feature phones. It displays clients’ ads in mobile apps to people located near the advertiser’s physical location, enabling them to easily reach it if they wish to do so.
Currently, the company operates in several Asia-Pacific countries, including India, Singapore, and Australia. AdNear launched its first app in 2009 and is considered to be one of the pioneers in the location-based mobile advertising space, which grew a whopping 95 percent in the first half of 2012 according to IAB.
The Mobile Ad Do-Over
Advertisers have been so fervently waiting for the so-called year of mobile that it’s no surprise some have taken to openly griping about mobile’s advertising limitations. Some, impatient from waiting, are abandoning the idea that mobile can build brands.
A rush judgment at this point is not only foolish, but it also demonstrates a lack of understanding in the space. Look at the current shift in traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, along with the very short history of mobile advertising, and it’s reasonable to believe mobile will overtake PC Web traffic in the next three years, if not sooner. The average publisher already receives 25 percent of its traffic from mobile devices, with some topping at 40 percent.
Consumers, though, have little expectation for advertising on mobile. The short history of mobile advertising has not yielded a compelling ad format. There’s a blank slate and an opportunity to avoid the engrained practices of the traditional Web. Chief among these is the cluttered page. PC webpages resemble something you’d see while watching NASCAR; the main piece of content fights for attention alongside ads, links to other pages, pictures, video and more ads. Brands have little chance to really stand out when pressed up against all the other detritus.
BII REPORT: The Mobile Advertising Ecosystem Explained
We are in the post-PC era, and soon billions of consumers will be carrying around Internet-connected mobile devices for up to 16 hours a day. Mobile audiences have exploded as a result. Mobile advertising should be a bonanza, similar to online advertising a decade ago. However, it has been a bit slow off the ground, and its growth trajectory is not clear cut.
In a recent report from BI Intelligence on the mobile advertising ecosystem, we explain the complexities and fractures, and examine the central and dynamic roles played by mobile ad networks, demand side platforms, mobile ad exchanges, real-time bidding, agencies, brands, and new companies hoping to upend the traditional banner ad.
Targeting Tools & Tips for Mobile Advertising on Google
Following my attendance on a recent Google Engage webinar on mobile advertising, here’s an overview of the different options available for targeting ads on mobile devices via Google search and display networks.
Hyper Local Ads
An addition to Location Extensions, on a mobile device, Google PPC ads will tell your customers how far away they are from your business. The search results will show a map of the area and your ad will identify, via a blue pin, where your business is, and how close the customer is to your destination.
Product Listing Ads
Now launched on mobile devices. Like desktop Product Listing Ads, you can now improve the coverage of your company on search by having a standard PPC ad, and a Product Listing ad for the same search query.
Mobile Ads Growing Rapidly: Apple Leads In Monetizing Content
The mobile advertising market seems to be going disproportionately in one direction. According to the results of a recent examination of the market by the mobile ad network Adfonic, that direction is straight toward Apple (AAPL).
In the latest version of iPhone, Apple removed two mainstay apps, both Google (GOOG) products — Maps and YouTube. Maps are particularly crucial on mobile devices, where location-based services and ads have emerged as the pathway to making money. Location-based services are very important for Google in terms of generating ad revenues, and search is very tied to that. Apple’s rejection of YouTube is part of its effort to cut ties with its former friend.
Even though Android phones far outnumber iPhones with 60 percent of smartphones run Android, versus 34 percent for iPhones — iPhone users account for almost half of mobile traffic to Google Maps, research firm Canalys reports. Being kicked off the iPhone may have potentially significant consequences for Google, the move will undoubtedly help Apple in generating more ad revenues.
XL Axiata appoints Sofialys for Mobile Ad-Serving
Sofialys Asia Pacific, the Singapore-based wing of global mobile advertising company Sofialys, has partnered with one of Indonesia’s largest Telco’s XL Axiata (XL) to provide Mobile Ad-serving solutions. Sofialys will work with XL to implement a new multi-platform ad-serving solution, based on the Paris-based mobile advertising company’s innovative mobile solutions.
Commenting on the recent announcement, Joedi Wisoeda, VP Strategic Business and Innovation XL said, “Indonesia is one of the world’s largest mobile markets and XL has a mobile subscriber base alone of more than 45 million. With any emerging and fast paced markets this also brings enormous challenges. It is key to deliver products and services demanded by the customers; hence our focus is on partnerships that provide both cutting edge technology and expertise in providing business solutions in global markets.”
Sofialys will provide the solution from and its fast growing Mobile ad network division ADITIC. This will help XL in providing better service to its clients as well as gain insights into consumer behaviour. Wisoeda feels that after a while the telecom company will be able to have a mature set of consumers who will appreciate the value in higher quality of mobile ads, which this partnership will enable. He added, “Our partnership with Sofialys will provide the latest technology to enable us to develop our mobile solutions and provide quality services to our customers. It will also enable us to obtain valuable insights on consumer trends and ad spending. As the Indonesian consumer becomes more educated on the benefits of mobile, we are determined to leverage this and raise the standard for mobile ad serving.”
Are Ethics in Mobile Advertising Out of Whack in China?
An eye-opening report out of China indicates that mobile advertising practices in China may be in need of some ethical tweaking. A new undercover investigation is shedding light on some highly questionable practices, including advertising on pirated copycat apps and selling user data to mobile ad agencies. Based on details of the CCTV report obtained by CNET, plentiful examples of unethical tactics abound.
The full extent of these and other practices in China isn’t known. But industry statistics dragged into the report state that 73 percent of malicious advertising “would attempt to get user location information, while 47 percent of them would target users’ phone number, pointing to higher security risks for users.”
Although it isn’t yet clear how these practices will be curbed, the growing media and consumer awareness will likely result in some degree of positive influence.
Mobile Ad Network InMobi Announces Free ‘Lifetime Value Platform’ To Help Developers Deliver Targeted Content
Thanks in part to some recent acquisitions, InMobi has been expanding its services for mobile developers. Its latest feature is something called the Lifetime Value Platform, which will help developers divide their audience into different segments and customize the experience accordingly. In InMobi’s words, it’s going to be “democratizing the understanding of user behavior.”
As for how the LTVP compares to the many other mobile app analytics and messaging services (for example, not only does Urban Airship offer messaging infrastructure, it also announced audience segmentation earlier this year), an InMobi spokesperson argued, “Unlike other products in the market which just stop at providing analytics, this platform enables developers to understand their users and deliver targeted actions in real time, without having to resubmit the app to the App Store.”
InMobi said LTVP features fall into three broad categories. First, there’s insights, which includes data such as usage, engagement, in-app revenue, and more. Then there’s segmentation, where you can divide users based on behavior such as monetary value of purchases and time spent in app. Finally, there’s actions, where developers can provide different content (such as virtual goods, ads, rewards, and cross-app promotion) to different segments.
5 reasons to embrace in-game mobile advertising
Mobile apps are a huge market right now, and they are partially the reason why so many people are adopting smartphones. In fact, some people choose their smartphone based on the types of apps available. There are apps for literally everything — you can control the lights in your home, access your bank account, read the news, visit social media sites, and more — but mobile games are probably the most popular apps that users install. This presents a unique opportunity for you to tap into the potential of mobile marketing by buying in-game advertisements.
Just think about it — when people are not at their computer, they still have access to their phone. Plus, playing games on a smartphone is a common way to pass the time. Primarily, you should add in-game advertising to your mobile marketing strategy to reach a larger audience. Here are some other reasons to embrace it:
Banner ads give your business a lot of screen “real estate”
One of the most common types of in-game advertising is banner ads that stay at the top of the user’s screen during game play. This is great for advertisers because banners actually get a decent amount of screen “real estate,” as opposed to the amount of space banner ads receive on websites. In fact, they can take up anywhere from one-sixteenth to one-eighth of a screen. All that “real estate” actually causes game users to accidentally click your ad — driving more traffic to your business.
How small/big is Chinese mobile advertising market?
Huang blames mobile ad formats that are either traditional or too fancy to work out. “I talked with a provincial general manager of Cola Cola, he thinks so far the most successful mobile ad is the text interaction through the phone number printed on bottle caps”, Huang raised an instance.
iResearch, a third-party research agency, released some numbers (article in Chinese) earlier this month, saying the mobile advertising market in China would be 5.52bn Yuan (about $890mn) by the end of this year, ten times of Huang’s estimate. Commenting on those big numbers, Huang said, 90% are commissions from app downloads. Ad agencies receive 2-5 Yuan for every download and activation of an app. The iResearch number does include app-related marketing, downloads, in-app ads and the like. The total app downloads in this year would be over 3 billion, iResearch said.