If you have a successful mobile application that’s reliant on advertising, then you obviously want to do everything you can to maximize how much revenue each ad unit is generating. One way to do that is to sell ads directly to clients instead of relying exclusively on big ad networks like AdMob. The benefits are clear — advertisers can more directly hone in on the audience they want to reach, and developers can generally get a higher price for their ad space. But it also takes time and experience, which small development teams don’t have.
That’s where Burstly comes in. Today, the company is launching a new Storefront feature that allows app developers to set up their own branded portal where advertisers can directly purchase placement in their apps. And to help launch the new feature, Burstly has teamed with a very popular app store developer: Newtoy, the company behind the hit game Words With Friends.
Beginning today, advertisers will be able to directly purchase ads on Words With Friends, which has grown to 1.5 million daily active users who spend a an average of one hour playing per day (that’s a lot of ad impressions). Advertisers will now be able to go to Newtoy’s homepage, where they’ll see a banner prompting them to run ads in the game. Click the banner, and you’ll be taken to a workflow that lets you upload your ad copy, geo-target your ads, and specify how much you’re willing to pay for your impressions.
Burstly hasn’t fully automated its signup process yet so other developers can’t immediately get their own ad storefronts up and running, but CEO Evan Rifkin says that the company wants to support as many developers as possible (in other words, you can sign up and the company will try to get you set up soon).
Burstly is particularly excited about the platform’s geo-targeting features. At this point advertisers can target their ads to users in major metropolitan areas, and in the future Burstly will support targeting based on zip codes. This means that a local business can identify an application that’s relevant to their business (a movie theatre might purchase ads to appear on a movie app, for example), and can then target their ads at users in their neighborhood.
App publishers are given two choices for how they want to price their ads: they can either set the pricing themselves, or they can rely on an automated bidding system. The latter will show advertisers a suggested bid price based on various market conditions (for example, how much ads are selling for in other apps). The company recommends the second option.
Burstly company raised $1.8 million earlier this year, and has offered an open source SDK that helps mobile developers manage and optimize their ad networks, in-app purchases, and more. Today’s Strorefront launch comes in addition to those features.