Mobile advertising startup mNectar has recently taken a big step forward in its mission to change the way we relate to mobile apps.
The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2012, and earlier this month closed a Series A round amounting to $7 million dollars (it had raised $625k in seed funding back in September last year). So, what is it about mNectar that’s inspired such investor confidence?
From banners to interstitials to video – where next?
Anyone with any degree of experience of media jobs in mobile advertising agencies will be aware that an evolution has been underway. To begin with, mobile ads took the form on itsy-bitsy banners but then came full-screen interstitial ads; more recently mobile video ads have come to the fore, as has advertising through Facebook’s huge targeted mobile ad network. The next step, according to mNectar, is to let consumers test fly mobile apps they might be interested in from the ad itself.
mNectar’s CEO Wally Nguyen told TechCrunch journalist Kim-Mai Cutler about his company’s starting point:
“When you buy music, I like to listen to a song for 30 to 60 seconds before buying an album. I thought this was fundamentally broken for apps. Mobile advertising is broken. With static interstitials, there’s not enough information for a user to make a decision.”
A nifty solution for a hyper-crowded market
Veterans of mobile advertising agencies will probably see where Nguyen’s line of thinking is heading: mNectar provides full-screen, interactive ads that allow consumers to try out an app or a game for a short time window before they decide whether to buy/download it. And as a measure of this ad strategy’s success, one only needs to look at the company’s client roster, which includes names like Zynga, Zeptolab, Wooga, King, GREE, Buffalo Studios and Big Fish Games. Each install costs between $3 and $7.
As Nguyen concedes, “It’s a high range, but we don’t force or preset pricing, and advertisers keep coming back to buy again.”
There’s little doubt that app developers have faced a hugely difficult task in working out how their markets work as both the Android and iOS app stores have become mind-bogglingly crowded. Increasingly, ultra-specific targeting has become indispensable, as have new varieties of interactive mobile ads. mNectar is already there, ready to deliver both.