Following in the steps of companies like Google and BlueKai on the desktop Web, mobile ad network JumpTap will allow people to choose the types of ads they want to see on their handsets.
By the end of June, the company will launch a site where users can select interest-based categories for mobile ads they are served by JumpTap. The idea is to improve advertising for consumers and marketers alike by showing people more relevant ads, which in turn will lead to higher interaction rates.
Consumers will be able to choose the kinds of ads they see from among 25 different interest segments including adult, automotive, finance, horoscopes, Latino, sports and technology.
"We want to put consumers at the forefront of this and tell us what they're interested in and work from there," said JumpTap CMO Paran Johar, who added that such control is even more critical in a more personal media platform like mobile.
He also noted that people will be able to opt out of the interest-based ad program that will start with a group of six to 12 advertisers initially. Google last year introduced a similar tool called Ads Preference Manager that lets people edit the list of interest areas Google has associated with their cookie. Marketers then use that data to match ads to people based on their preferences and activities online and serve ads across Google's content network.
Companies like Yahoo and audience data exchange BlueKai also give consumers the option of editing their online ad preferences.
Johar said he believed JumpTap was the first independent mobile ad network to offer the ability for people to manage their own profiles. The company also plans to promote the new feature, possibly in mobile house ads, links within third-party ads or other ways. "It's something we definitely want to encourage," said Johar.
The company, whose network has an audience of 55 million unique visitors, will continue to offer advertisers a variety of targeting options including demographic, and by location, carrier, device type and browser.
Separately, JumpTap said it plans to release a rich media software development kit (SDK) in partnership with mobile ad technology company Medialets to allow brands to run more sophisticated ad units featuring capabilities like location-awareness and tap-to-video and tap-to-call features.
It will also allow any rich media provider to plug into the JumpTap network across multiple devices. But the platform will be based on the HTML5 programming language, so it won't support Flash-based ads. HTML5 is the alternative to Adobe's Flash favored by Apple. JumpTap earlier this month announced it would roll out new ad formats for the iPad.