Deals

Internet radio ads get voice control as XAPPmedia lands $3M

Image Credit: Courtesy Pat Higbie

Internet radio on your mobile device is about to get a lot more interesting.

At least for ad agencies and listeners.

XAPPmedia, which provides interactive audio advertising for Internet radio stations, raised $3 million from private investors Wednesday. The Washington, DC-based startup will use the windfall to support the development of what the company is referring to as their XAPPmedia advertising platform called XAPP Ads.

Here’s how the platform works. Mobile ads are created within minutes through a cloud-based interface. No programming required. Then, users on mobile devices can use their voice to interact with an ad they find appealing. XAPPmedia launched officially earlier this year with National Public Radio as their first paid client.

NPR has reach.

“We’re about giving consumers a voice and connecting them with advertisers and publishers. We’re calling it an “ultra mobile device.” You can use it when you’re walking, driving, or the phone is in your pocket or on your dashboard,” XAPPmedia chief executive Pat Higbie told VentureBeat Wednesday from his home in DC.

The way Higbie, 59, sees it, users have become comfortable relying more on mobile devices than on desktops. Statistics bear him out, showing that many Americans see the smartphone and tablet as fast becoming a necessary and desired communications platform for a majority of needs. And it makes sense that XAPPmedia thinks this is a market they can tap.

“This is a call to action,” the affable Higbie said. “This is branding engagement and conversion all in one ad.”

Higbie himself has inherited the tech world for years. He sold his software company Data Focus to a Canadian firm years ago. And his new company sees itself scaling nicely as consumers who are too busy being consumers can simply call out their voice to launch an add on their mobile device they’re interested in.

“This hasn’t been done in the audio environment before. The value proposition here is this is cutting edge technology. Easy to build. Easy to use. There is a need,” Higbie said, “for mobile in digital media.”