Last week I had a great lunch with Victor Malachard and Wes Biggs in the Hospital Club in London.
Who are they?
Do you remember Infospace the mobile search company that worked with Virgin Mobile. The one purchased by Motricity? Well, Wes was the Chief Architect and Victor headed up marketing.
Victor and Wes, together with Paul Childs – also ex-Infospace business development have launched a new mobile advertising self-service solution adfonic.
With a very strong mobile search background, these three entrepreneurs wanted to create a platform that focused on the technology before the hype.
I felt nervous for them as they showed me the self-service market place as I have tested admob, mojiva, jumptap, medio, Buzzcity, decktrade and am pretty nifty getting around all of them.
What did I see?
Well, I wanted to add screen shots but I will just do a full demo at launch but in short … it was the richest ad self-service platform available to date.
admob – it was extremely clear and the publishers were a big focus on getting quality of content to the user
Mojiva – it improves greatly on Mojiva’s ad-geo-location offering
Buzzcity- adfonic is created with a sophisticated user interface and will leave some interface’s looking dated.
JumpTap – it is much richer than the new TapMatchwith more ways in which you can target the audience and whatever happened to Jumptap’s keyword tool?
Decktrade – offers banner creation – this has a different variation with rich banner insertion based on common standards
Medio changed its focus and teamed with admob – but I had great hopes for a search based adplatform from them and it didn’t materialise. I feel that adfonic might be able to steal a lead in the market if it does want to focus on the search side of the business.
With such as strong search background there were some very new and nifty keyword analysis tools that I think will benefit end-users. Also these will help publishers. There is not a lot of support for publishers getting the right ads on their site and in many cases what makes it on some sites is based on the CPM only. This is wrong. Publisher keyword tools to find ads on relevant content is vital and this is what adfonic will offer.
But what struck me most about this service was that usability and simplicity was paramount. Saying that I didn’t like the way in which sections of the home page opened out only when clicked (something JumpTap and Medio both did in the early days) – but ….
as that was one of my only faults I found with it.. and its not really that much of a big deal – I will leave it there.
Global or local?
adfonic be a global self-service ad network. But I have some personal huge hopes for adfonic in the UK and Ireland. There is no really strong local player in the UK or Ireland (apart from Yahoo or Google). adfonic if it behaves locally at first and then drives the global business; it could carve a highly successful niche for itself.
Everyone, get ready. Mojiva especially look out – there is a lot of room in the market and adfonic is determined to make a difference.
More with screen shots at launch.