Apple made a big splash this year with its iAd network for high-quality ads from big brands, but new mobile ad network Moolah Media says it’s already successful by aiming for advertisers who aren’t quite as high-end.
The San Francisco startup is coming out of stealth mode today, but its services have been up-and-running for a month. Chief executive Shawn Scheuer said Moolah Media has already served more than 100 million impressions and generated more than 250,000 “quality” leads for its advertisers.
“We’re not going to beat iAds on filling the first 5 percent of your inventory at $25 or $50 CPMs (payment per thousand impressions),” Scheuer said. “But we will beat other people on filling the remaining 95 percent.”
Moolah came from the founders’ own experience trying to make money from their mobile app, Scheuer said. By using AdMob (now owned by Google) and various other ad networks, they were only able to earn 25 cent CPMs “on a good day.” Then they discovered they could increase those CPMs by more than 10 times if they created their own custom ads, and now they’re making the technology they developed available on their network.
The key, Scheuer said, is a focus on a pay-per-performance model, where you’re paying for actions and not just eyeballs, coupled with greater publisher transparency. For example, he said, most major ad networks only let you target ads by phone, carrier, and a few extremely broad categories. Moolah lets you see ad performance by individual publisher, and it kicked out an early publisher that wasn’t performing. Moolah also creates special phone numbers for ads so businesses can tell when customer calls were spurred by a specific ad.
“On the fixed Web side, these ideas are not new,” he said, but they haven’t been brought effectively into the mobile world.
Moolah is self-funded and is already profitable, he added.