Erstwhile Googler Gabor Cselle teamed up with his ex-Google buddies Tural Badirkhanli and Nassar Stoertz last year to launch his Big Idea on how to fix mobile advertising. After raising $1.9 million in seed funding, the result was Namo Media, the San Francisco-based ad startup that makes mobile ads more lucrative and a lot less interruptive by feeding them into the content streams of its publishers.
The problem with mobile advertising
Veterans holding media jobs in mobile advertising agencies over the last five years or so will probably be aware of the same statistics that sponsored Cselle to develop his native-ads-for-mobile brainchild. According to Forrester, 68 percent of mobile users don’t want their mobile experience being interrupted by ads. This is not surprising, especially when you throw in Trademob’s figures suggesting that 40 percent of mobile ad clicks are accidents or frauds.
So this is what Cselle (who was a product manager on Google Now), Nassar (an engineer who worked on Google Wallet) and Badirkhanli (who brings ad experience form his stint at AdMob) set out to solve.
How to fix it
From the outset, Namo Media has been less interested in developing new ad formats than in making it much easier for publishers to use existing formats less intrusively and more effectively: ads that blend into app news feeds, in other words.
The startup has just launched version 3.0 of its SDK, which will pack more ads into publishers’ content streams by means of a swipeable onscreen carousel. Users will no longer see just one ad at a time; now they can see a good deal more with a quick horizontal swipe. And because the model is native advertising, Namo has taken care to use publisher data on user interests for ad optimization: ads featuring themes users are already interested in will appear first on the carousel.
The new software development kit delivers improve ad caching and better scrolling performance, improved targeting and support for “swipe-to-refresh”-style apps, says Cselle.
And he’s confident about Namo’s capabilities. The approach will, he argues, generate higher CPMs for publishers (the amount paid for each thousand impressions) and will benefit users by ensuring less of the content stream is gobbled by ads.