Mobile developer Bitstream is the power behind a very rare sort of product: an independent mobile browser. The most used browsers (including Opera Mini, Safari on the iPhone and the various WebKit based browsers) tend to have the backing of a larger browser or company. But Bitstreams BOLT browser doesn’t have that kind of safety net. The last two weeks have seen some good announcements from BitStream, including a tie-in with mobile app powerhouse GetJar – and today’s announcement that large-scale mobile advertiser BuzzCity will be delivering ads through the BOLT browser.
What’s the story?
BuzzCity is more than just a mobile advertising network – it’s also a big entertainment content provider, from mobile games to a recently launched mobile food network. But all of the various channels that BuzzCity works through are free-to-use, and powered by advertising. So Bitstream will be placing BuzzCity advertising into the BOLT browser itself.
The reason these two companies fit together is because they share a large audience. The BOLT browser is particularly obsessed with being able to deliver decent mobile web performance to ANY device – no matter how low spec. And BuzzCity is also primarily concerned with serving content to devices without cutting edge smartphone features. They both share an interest in developing markets, where there are vast numbers of people with lower end mobile devices that still want to download and use applications, along with browsing the mobile web.
What we think?
Because BOLT is a free download, there isn’t much money to be made from distributing the application itself. The recent release of BOLT 2.1 was very obviously aimed at mobile manufacturers and operators, presumably because BitStream wanted to achieve some scale. Bitstream claims that BOLT now processes over 300 million web page requests every month. According to its CEO, Anna Magliocco-Chagnon, the company has been seeking a suitable advertising partner for quite some time now – and the largely shared audience of the two companies was the deciding factor.