With the launch of the new competitively priced 3G iPhone just around the corner, there has been a lot of speculation about the effect it will have on the mobile market. Since the iPhone has released its SDK, and added GPS capability, it is an opportune time for third-party companies and developers to take advantage of the possibilities that GPS offers. Throughout it all, venture capitalists have been pouring money into mobile-based solutions and analytics, and advertising platforms have been working to extend their reach to the iPhone and other handsets.
AppLoop is a startup launching today that will provide developers with a self-service platform for tracking mobile application usage and distributing ads on top of these apps. It also claims to be the first ever real-time, location-based mobile ad network. By leveraging the iPhone 3G’s native GPS capabilities, AppLoop will tell when a consumer is close to a specified business address and then serve up ads for that business accordingly. This enables businesses and restaurants to attract nearby consumers to their location with promotions, coupons, and discounts.
In addition to tailoring ads to locations, AppLoop offers developers a comprehensive set of statistics for developers to track usage, location, and session info. It provides custom action logging, which makes it possible for developers to track which of their features are used most often.
AppLoop provides location-based usage and session information so that developers can track how often and how long people in each region are using their applications. These capabilities potentially allow for better advertising opportunities and could also deliver greater insight into how to design marketing campaigns.
An advertiser dashboard can also be used to create ads and target consumers based on region or proximity to a specific address. It also offers an option for advertisers to filter by which types of applications they want to advertise on.
Mobile advertising, specifically location-based enabled advertising, is a big market. eMarketer reports that mobile ad spending will reach $5 billion this year alone. Most major ad networks are attempting a mobile web or application advertising platform, but few have hit on anything successfully, thus far. It seems logical though, that in such a competitive marketplace, the big dogs will be the ones to take over. They have the resources, users, and trust, to be the go-to ad network of choice. But it won’t stop companies like AppLoop from trying.
There are currently several competitors in the iPhone advertising space including Pinch Media, a startup that recently launched its initial set of tools for iPhone SDK developers. Pinch Media offers a similar iPhone analytics toolset to AppLoop, including a geographically-based set of statistics with usage and session data. However, the Union Square Ventures-backed startup does not yet offer custom action logging or an ad platform, though have signed up advertisers for an upcoming release.
AppLoop’s closest competitor is Smaato’s Open Mobile Advertising Platform (SOMA), which offers advertising and analytics for mobile applications, but do not offer location-based ads. Other mobile advertising networks include AdMob, Ad Infuse, and mKhoj.