Publishers are struggling to make money off their mobile ads, relying for the most part on ad networks to fill inventory at low rates. That’s no surprise since most publishers in mobile lack its most important signal: location.
“We get a lot of direct ad dollars because our service is inherently location-based,” said HopStop CEO Joe Meyer. “Users reading articles on The New York Times or playing games on Zynga don’t have to do that.”
HopStop is a transportation-planning service that lets users plot their trips. For consumers, the entire purpose of using it is tied to location — a far cry from most content publishers that deliver content to phones and tablets. Publishers cannot serve location-based ads to users that do not volunteer that information, and users are less likely to do so if they’re simply trying to catch up on today’s news.
According to HopStop, it’s the second-largest provider of pedestrian-routing information behind Google, offering transit information for numerous cities in the U.S. as well as internationally.
HopStop advertisers include McDonalds, City Bank, Wells Fargo, The New York Times and numerous retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Using that information, McDonalds, for example, could target users within a mile radius of one of its locations with an offer specific to that restaurant using display ads.
The typical content publisher doesn’t get these kinds of campaigns. The dream of mobile advertising, mostly unrealized, is ads directly related to where a person is located: When going by a Starbucks, you’d see an offer for a discounted drink. And yet, visit most mobile apps, and you’ll find that the ads aren’t tied to location. Again, this is mostly a result of limited access to location data, a problem that HopStop circumvents.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop a publisher from requesting a user’s location from within an app or mobile website, but Meyer said the context of that question is important.
“If I’m entering my location in order to get directions, it feels logical getting a location-based ad in that context. If I’m trying to locate my destination and I’m offered a coupon for Starbucks a block away from it, that feels good to me. It could feel creepy in another context.”
HopStop’s service is currently available as a native app for all major smartphone platforms, as well as mobile and desktop Web. According to Meyer, over 40 percent of the company’s traffic now comes from mobile, and almost every one of the ads it serves is targeted to some extent based on users’ locations.
Dentsu’s podcast celebrating Black empowerment tries to do its part to fill the advertising inequity gap
The Dentsu-backed More Than That with Gia Peppers kicked off season 3 last week, featuring several major advertisers (and Dentsu clients) including Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Kroger and Mastercard.
The Athletic’s Sebastian Tomich is looking beyond ads and subscriptions to reach profitability
The Athletic's path to profitability is set for 2025, and to achieve this goal, chief commercial officer Sebastian Tomich is focused on more than just selling ads directly to prospective advertisers.
How newsroom unions intervene when members get laid off
Amid the recent wave of media layoffs, here are some of the ways newsroom unions are intervening.
SponsoredAdvertising predictions that will shake up the media industry in 2023
Chris Kelly, CEO, Upwave Like many people, marketers and advertisers were ready to see 2022 come to a close. A year that started off promising was assailed by inflation, layoffs and the disastrous effects of RSV, the flu and additional COVID strains. Still, despite an uncertain outlook for 2023, there are plenty of reasons for […]
Despite Q1’s slow start, publishers are bullish about events revenue for 2023
Publishers like BDG and Apartment Therapy are banking on events revenue to give them a leg up in 2023.
Media Briefing: The case for and against monthly and annual subscriptions in the battle for retention
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving retention in a subscriptions business. While annual subscribers might stick around longer for some, other publishers will have better luck with monthly plans.