Independent mobile ad network Greystripe today announced a strategic partnership with Media Networks Inc. (MNI), a Time Inc. company, to go after the burgeoning mobile local ad market.
The partnership will focus on the location-based sector of the mobile ad market. MNI clients will get access to Greystripe’s mobile content and mobile ad formats, which include full-screen Flash ads for iPhone and Android. (Interesting back story: Greystripe developed what it calls Lightning Technology that automatically transcodes Flash ads to HTML5 on the fly, and various brands have been doing Flash-based mobile ad campaigns on iPhones and iPads with Greystripe’s technology despite Apple’s famous lack of support for Flash on iOS.)
Back to the news at hand, Greystripe CEO Michael Chang points to a BIA/Kelsey forecast that estimates the local mobile ad sector in the United States to be worth $404 million, growing to more than $2 billion by 2014.
He sees two categories for local: one is the hyper-local space dominated by foursquare, Yelp, Google, Yellow Page substitutions and the like, and the other is the massive potential for brand advertisers that want to reach the local market. In a sense, that $2 billion figure gets divided into two budgets – hyper local and regional/local.
Granted, Greystripe flies under the radar with respect to Google’s performance ad clicks, but that’s not where Greystripe is playing; its strength is all those brands – it works with the likes of Axe, Burger King, Buick and so on. Where Google is weak is on the brand ad side, “that’s where we come in strong,” Chang says. “Our core network is brand ads,” an area also dominated by Apple’s iAds.
The partnership with MNI means it will expand the reach of its local and regional advertisers’ online campaigns to mobile, leveraging Greystripe’s network of thousands of mobile applications and websites, which have more than 30 million monthly unique visitors.
When it comes to the apps vs. browser debate, Greystripe isn’t picking sides; it’s agnostic, Chang says. Advertisers are more interested in targeting the right demographic, and Greystripe works with all the major OS platforms to deliver them in app or via browser.