Kiip announced today that it has partnered with Cheetah Mobile to make its “moments marketing” service more broadly available in Asia. Starting today, Cheetah Mobile will be using a white labeled version of Kiip’s platform within four of its popular apps: Clean Master, Battery Doctor, CM Security, and Piano Tiles 2.
This move also has implications for ad management, as Cheetah Mobile can not only offer brands more inventory within its own products, the company now represents the 4,000 Kiip-powered apps in the Asia region, as well. In return, Kiip will be responsible for selling ad inventory for both its own apps and Cheetah Mobile’s right here in the U.S.
Nearly a year ago, both companies talked about ways to monetize Cheetah Mobile’s apps. Kiip’s classic ad platform was used initially, but Cheetah Mobile was eventually able to integrate its branded Moments feature.
For Kiip CEO Brian Wong, striking a deal with Cheetah Mobile is significant on many levels. This is not only the company’s largest international deal, it is also a strategic move — Wong doesn’t have any intentions of hiring a team in Asia, but he believes that Kiip Moments will resonate in the region.
Moments marketing is a way for brands to target their ads simply and effectively — not just based on the page or app’s context, but using things like geolocation and your mobile device’s performance. It’s about surfacing ads at the most opportune time based on a series of events and customer actions. Originally, Wong’s idea was to reward someone playing a game “in a serendipitous fashion.” Then Kiip moved onto fitness, productivity, and music apps.
Events that trigger Moments could be something as simple as crossing a to-do item off your list, for which Kiip’s rewards may be tickets from your nearest AMC theatre.
Wong’s startup says the program is working: Since January, 60 million people have redeemed a reward they’ve received through the system, which is 10 million more than did so in all of 2015. Over 5,000 apps use the company’s developer SDK, giving Kiip an estimated global reach of 240 million monthly users, of which 50 percent are based in the U.S.
Josh Ong, Cheetah Mobile’s director of communications, told VentureBeat: “Our partnership with Kiip flows out of Cheetah Mobile’s quest for advertising that, frankly, doesn’t suck. We’re committed to a ‘free-to-use’ model for our apps, so that means we need to get creative with how we monetize them. Rather than using ads to obstruct the user experience, we wanted to find ways to show offers to users in a serendipitous way, rewarding them for something positive instead of inducing a negative feeling.”
The addition of a new company to Kiip’s growing list of publishers is notable, especially one with a reach of 635 million monthly active users and a diverse set of apps — focused around the mobile device. Kiip’s strength lies with the fact that it’s building a SETI-like network where all the apps it powers on a single device communicate with each other. This allows them to improve the Moments’ algorithm in order to provide users with the best reward possible. Banner and native advertising may not have such high conversion rates, but Kiip doesn’t think it’s an “either/or” scenario — Wong believes that the traditional online advertising and his Moments-based marketing solution can co-exist.
This partnership means brands now have an instant opportunity to reach more potential customers in Asia than ever before, and in what they hope will be an impactful way. Cheetah’s white-labeled Moments offering joins the company’s Cheetah Ad Platform that was launched last June.