GamesBeat: Are you guys willing to part with anything? You’re bigger than $100 million dollars, or whatever it is.
Shah: As is already public, we did around $100 million last year. We did around $20 million the year before. We continue to grow ahead of the market. That’s happening to our direct consumer site, Tapjoy.com. It’s happening on Android. It’s happening on iOS. It’s happening in North America, and it’s happening globally. It’s happening everywhere. We continue to enjoy what you already know is a very exciting market.
GamesBeat: Who, then, winds up being your competition, most directly?
Shah: Right now, our position is pretty unique. To Pete’s point, we are the premium partner for global app developers, not only for distribution but for an ad-funded model. The combination of our value in distribution and the ad-funded model creates really healthy partnerships. From an ad standpoint, at scale, we’re unique. We drive a value exchange. We allow that unique self selection and targeting from an advertiser to reach their target audience. From a consumer standpoint, again, we’re unique. We’re the only global company that has a direct consumer offering, as well as a network offering, that consumers can use. An app user can choose to interact with Tapjoy through other apps, or they can come directly to Tapjoy. We have a unique global proposition to all of our constituents at scale.
By the way, a couple of exciting points…. This quarter, we will hit a billion devices, to give you an idea of the scale. We are firmly at 100 million active users per month. When I say active, I mean active. They’re interacting with the value exchange. All of those are multiples over a year ago. Our point of view is that users are embracing this model. Advertisers embrace the model. That healthy value connection between consumers and advertising hugely benefits the developers and platforms. You get more engaged users and more engaged advertisers.
GamesBeat: TV ads don’t work. Banner ads don’t work. What works as an ad these days?
Shah: You’ve seen the studies, independent studies. From a display-advertising standpoint, when you’re leveraging the old PC model in mobile, 50 percent of the clicks are fat fingers. They’re by accident. It doesn’t work.
So what works? It’s an opt-in model. It’s a user requesting an app to access additional content. No different from requesting to pay through a pay model. It’s a double opt-in. I want to see an ad, and I choose the ad I want to engage with in order to get access to content. That kind of discovery and engagement works in this new mobile and connected TV world. We are focused on building that.
GamesBeat: How large is the market now, in your view?
Shah: The market’s huge. We define “the market” as the worldwide mobile advertising market. That market is enormous. Now, it’s still only two percent of all advertising spent. It may be three percent this quarter, but two percent is the latest number. These aren’t our numbers. These are coming out from reputable sources. Even at two percent it’s huge.
This is one of those markets that companies like Tapjoy have achieved scale and have a loving fan base. We don’t have headroom issues because of market size. We have operating scale issues, like any growth company. We were 50 people last year. Tapjoy’s now 300 people. One hundred of those are outside the country, 200 are in the U.S. From a corporate standpoint, we are in a growth phase. We’re no longer a startup. We’re a private-growth company, scaling fast. We don’t have issues about market headroom. Our issues are about how we meet the demands of our consumers, our developers, and our advertisers on a global scale.