Who says the mobile ad wars are all about Google's AdMob and Apple's iAds?
Amobee Media Systems wants to throw its hat into the ring – although to be fair, the company has been around for going on five years now so like other independents, it's not exactly new to the space. Amobee's twist, however, is it works with mobile operators directly.
The company has relationships with two worldwide biggies, Vodafone and Telefonica, and earlier this week it displaced Google DoubleClick in a deal whereby Amobee will be the exclusive mobile advertising partner for Gruner + Jahr Electronic Media Sales in Germany. Gruner + Jahr is the largest publishing house in Europe.
Amobee says the deal with Gruner + Jahr puts the Amobee Platform at the nucleus of Europe's largest mobile ad marketplace for ad placement on mobile sites and applications. Titles served will include Financial Times Deutschland, Spiegel, Stern, Gala, Brigitte, Vodafone, O2 Telefonica and others.
Having an international scope when it comes to mobile advertising is important for any brand. If you ask most brands about their No. 1 objective going into 2011, it's to expand their global reach, says Amobee Vice President of Monetization and Product Marketing Michael Bayle.
In the United States, Amobee works with Sprint and it's in talks to get more carriers on board. The more carriers that are involved, the better for marketers that want to reach the widest scope with the least amount of hassle, and that's where Amobee comes in.
Amobee says mobile operators are key to leveraging the value of mobile media because they have a trusted relationship with their subscribers, the most data on their users and strong incentive to protect their customers' privacy.
Amobee's partnerships with operators and content publishers enable it to reach about 1 in 7 mobile users on the planet each day. The company, based in Redwood City, Calif., works with various ad networks to serve ads.
Bayle admits the media's fascination with Apple and Google, although a bit "tired," brings validation to the space, but the average consumer in America uses neither an iPhone or an Android device and while stats suggest wonderful growth for Android, that still leaves a lot of other devices and device platforms.
Amobee's big-name investors include Accel Partners, which is also an investor in Facebook, but Facebook has yet to unveil its mobile advertising strategy.