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Namo Media, the mobile advertising startup that brings native ads to mobile devices, launches ad carousel upgrade

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.

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