Leadbolt is one of those startups that’s been flying under the radar for a while (more than two years in fact), but now it’s ready to talk about what its founders describe as a smarter, more innovative approach to mobile advertising.
According to CEO Dale Carr, most mobile ad companies are just trying to import ideas the existing online ad world: “I.e., they’re putting banners on a smaller screen and saying that’s mobile advertising.” There are other companies experimenting with different ad formats, but with Leadbolt, it’s not about any one type of ad. Instead, the company delivers a mix of ads that are specifically targeted based on how long someone has been using the app.
“We can monetize across the lifecycle of an application using different pieces of our technology,” Carr said.
The company argues that users are susceptible to different types of advertising depending on where they are in the “app usage lifecycle“. For example, when someone first installs the product, both their excitement and their receptivity to advertising are at their peak. Then there’s the engagement period, where interest is still high, and the exit point, where a someone stops using an app but it’s still installed. Leadbolt delivers a different mix of ads at each point in the cycle.
Leadbolt offers a total of 10 different ad units, including the recently-added audio ads, in-app alerts, videos, app walls, and, yes, banners. On their own, none of these formats is entirely new to mobile, but co-founder Marc Carr said that Leadbolt gives developers access to all those formats in one place “without having 10 different ad networks.” From a developer standpoint, you just integrate with the Leadbolt SDK and it will serve “a demographically targeted ad in the correct spot at the correct time,” he said. Leadbolt also provides analytics, so that the developer can see which ad units are performing best.
The self-funded company says its customers include Gree, Ngmoco, and Amobee. The Marc Carr said revenue has been growing fast, and is now at $20 million annually.