MTV Expands 'Tribes' Ad Networks To Mobile Apps
MTV Networks is extending the "Tribes" vertical ad networks launched two years ago to mobile devices, starting with the iPhone.
The effort will be geared to mobile applications and will launch with the three targeted mobile networks: Entertainment, anchored by Comedy Central and Spike, and geared to men; casual gaming, centered on Addictive Games and Shockwave; and music and youth, built around on MTV, VH-1 and CMT.
In addition to MTV's core digital properties, the Mobile Tribes networks will also encompass apps from more than 50 publisher partners.
For the initiative, MTV is partnering with mobile ad network Greystripe, which serves rich media ads in and around more than 2,500 apps on the iPhone, Android-based handsets and other smartphones. The company is known for its software that converts Flash-based Web ads into a format that can run on the iPhone.
Miracle Whip, a major advertiser with MTV, is on board as an initial sponsor.
So why is MTV focusing on apps to the exclusion of the mobile Web? "I think the growth for everybody is in apps," said Kevin Arrix, executive vice president, digital advertising at MTV, which provides more than 30 free and paid iPhone apps. "Our overall goal was to offer something that provides greater scale within the mobile market."
New research from comScore last week showed nearly 70 million U.S. mobile customers used an application on their phone, up 28% from a year ago. The data also indicated that both browser and app activity on smartphones have more than doubled in the last year, drawing audiences of 37.5 million and 38.4 million, respectively.
But apps have generally generated more enthusiasm among publishers and advertisers because of their ability to offer a more immersive experience than a mobile Web site. After launching on the iPhone, the Tribes networks will be rolled out to Android phones and the iPad in the coming weeks, said Arrix.