New direct-deal advertising marketplace Chartboost launches today, allowing mobile game developers to use cross-promotion techniques to increase the size of their game’s user base, and therefore, its revenues. The company was created by former Tapulous employees, Maria Alegre, now Chartboost CEO, and Sean Fannan, CTO.
After Disney’s acquisition of Tapulous, the Chartboost founders decided to help start a platform to give other game publishers the same ability to maximize their distribution power, something that they felt was Tapulous’ most valuable asset.
Previously Alegre worked a business and revenue associate at Tapulous. She later became head of Tapulous Labs Studio under Disney, where she was responsible for monetization and launch strategies, project management and game design. Fannan was a senior software engineer at Tapulous, where he built and managed the original server architecture, helped with scaling and coordinated the engineering of marketing deals with brands like Microsoft, Groupon, Disney and Fox.
Chartboost is not an ad network, the company explains, it’s a technology platform. It provides free ad-serving technology for direct deals and cross-promotions via the Chartboost SDK. Instead of mediating direct-deals through an ad network, Chartboost publishers get a 100% revenue share on these deals.
Included in the platform are white-labeled fullscreen interstitials, which publishers can use to promote their other titles. When they’re not being used internally, those spaces can be sold directly to other publishers and used to generate revenue. Also, says Chartboost, because the interstitials are promoting recommended games, they’re not perceived by end users as if they were ads.
Chartboost also offers in-depth metrics that allow publishers to track the direct deals and cross-promotions and manage their inventory accordingly. The analytics show impressions, clicks, installs, CPC, CPI and eCPM for each app. An API to track UDIDs is available, too.
The company currently operates under a freemium model: the ad-server technology is free when used for direct deals or internal cross-promotion. Meanwhile, the opt-in ad network offers revenue sharing with publishers, allowing them to maximize the unsold inventory that’s not used internally for cross-promotion or in direct deals. Those campaigns use metrics like Cost per Click (CPC) or Cost per Install (CPI) to determine pricing.
At launch, notable Chartboost publishers include TinyCo, Storm8, Pocket Gems, Gameview Studios, The Playforge, Funzio, OMGPOP, Com2us, Fluik Entertainment, Sunstorm Interactive, Ace Viral, Camigo Media, Neon Play, Lakoo, and Devsisters. Several of these are leading publishers in their own markets, and many are top 100 app makers.
As of August 31st, self-funded Chartboost says it’s a profitable company.
The platform is live on iOS and will launch on Android soon.