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Tumblr says yes to mobile advertising with new app

Mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies have a new app to focus their atten­tions on thanks to a new ini­tia­tive by the blog net­work Tum­blr.

The rise of mobile

It’s only a few months since six-year-old Tum­blr start­ed let­ting adver­tis­ers pay for opti­mal place­ment but, accord­ing to its VP Derek Got­tfrid, the num­ber of peo­ple using the network’s mobile prod­uct has soared by 400 per cent in the last six months.  All of a sud­den, mobile phones adver­tis­ing starts to look entic­ing. That’s why the net­work has now opened the doors to mobile adver­tis­ing cour­tesy of a new app.

The new prod­uct is expect­ed to help make Tum­blr its first annu­al prof­it this year once adver­tis­ers sign up to debut it. The network’s head of sales, Lee Brown, claims that the aver­age adver­tis­ing pur­chase has now reached “just under six figures.”

The New York-based start­up has enjoyed impres­sive suc­cess over its short life and now plays host to around 100 mil­lion blogs, all of which can be themed. The range spans the cere­bral­ly artis­tic, like dis­plays of a photographer’s best work, to dis­tinct­ly quirky, like the dog which can bal­ance food on its head. Users can share con­tent from their own blogs or “heart” anoth­er blog (on Face­book, you’d “like” it).

Break­ing with ad tradition

Tumblr’s CEO David Karp isn’t espe­cial­ly fond of tra­di­tion­al online dis­play and search advertising.
He thinks he can per­suade cus­tomers to pay to make their own posts stand out, push­ing Tum­blr toward prof­itabil­i­ty in the process.

With Tumblr’s 16 bil­lion month­ly page views, Got­tfrid is adamant that it’s “not going to get into the reg­u­lar ad net­work.” Com­pa­nies won’t be allowed to buy dis­play space; they’ll pay to get their blogs viewed by more users instead.

As Brown puts it:

“We’re not bring­ing them a tem­plate or for­mat to com­plete. We’re giv­ing them a can­vas. That takes a lot of time and a lot of thought.”

He con­cedes that this style of adver­tis­ing is untra­di­tion­al – but it hasn’t put com­pa­nies off. Pro­mot­ed posts have been sold to Adi­das AG (ADS), Chris­t­ian Dior SA (CDI), Lions Group Enter­tain­ment Corp. (LGF) and Tar­get Corp. (TGT).

And with Gart­ner Inc. pre­dict­ing glob­al mobile adver­tis­ing spend to leap from last year’s $9.8 bil­lion to $11.4 bil­lion in 2013 and $24.6 bil­lion by 2016, there’s room for innovation.

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