Quattro Wireless Debuts Self-Serve Mobile Publishing And Ad Platform
The startup's GetMobile service offers publishers a set of tools for converting wired sites to the mobile Web and gives advertisers access to a bid-per-click mobile ad exchange and templates for creating ads.
Founded in 2006, Quattro already operates a mobile ad network built around 60 large, branded sites including NBA.com, NFL.com, Playboy Mobile and CBS.com. The new GetMobile platform is a second-tier network geared toward long-tail sites that might not otherwise be willing to invest resources in creating a mobile Web presence. A recent JupiterResearch report estimated the cost of creating a basic mobile Web site at $20,000 to $100,000.
"Our goal is to turn this into something that can start generating revenue within a few hours or a few days work," said Eswar Priyadarshan, a Quattro co-founder and its chief technology officer. "You don't need to hire a Web developer--you can do it yourself."
In return for providing free mobile development tools, Quattro requires that sites join its ad network, through which it takes a cut of ad revenues generated by click-throughs.
For publishers, the main selling point is Quattro's so-called Juicing technology that adapts wired sites by "squeezing" the best elements into a new mobile Web presence. The technology automatically optimizes sites for the mobile screen and a wide range of devices and carrier networks. Content is automatically refreshed in tandem with wired sites.
Publishers can also customize sites by adding specialized mobile features like click-to-call buttons.
On the advertising side, marketers can use Quattro software to create banner and text ads as well as landing pages that collect e-mail addresses, phone numbers and other user information. Ads can be targeted by carrier, content channel, geography and device.
Through its online marketplace, advertisers can bid on cost-per-click inventory within Quattro's group of 60 top-tier sites as well as on those in the GetMobile network. CPC rates range from 15 cents to 35 cents, while click-through rates average from 1% to 7%, according to the company.
The system also comes with a range of analytic tools for tracking mobile Web usage and improving ad targeting.
Quattro struck a deal with Burst Media last month to adapt its network of niche sites for the mobile Web and jointly sell advertising through the GetMobile platform.
"We're here to try to bring more parties to the table by bringing a lot more [mobile] content on board, that's what we're all about," said Priyadarshan, who previously co-founded mobile marketing firm m-Qube, sold to Verisign in 2006 for $250 million.
But Quattro is hardly alone in trying to monetize the mobile Web. The startup is taking on some of the Internet's most powerful players-- including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, which have all launched their own mobile ad platforms. Not to mention the emergence of rivals such as AdMob, which boasts of serving nearly 14 billion impressions through its mobile ad network since 2006.
Priyadarshan believes Quattro has a competitive advantage through its technology that lets publishers quickly and easily get up and running on the mobile Web. Through its network of premium mobile sites, he said the company is also collecting a trove of behavioral data prized by marketers.
"We're the guys with the best unique audience targeting capabilities," Priyadarshan said.