In Context

I had an interesting chat recently with Akash Sureka, founder and CEO of Hoopz. He ran me through the company’s ad platform, which targets users with ads based on the context of words they use in text messages, emails etc. So someone texting a friend about football, for example, might see an ad for football-related content, perhaps a relevant app. The ads can be served to mobile devices of any type, including eReaders.

Consumers can opt into or out of the ads at any time. The incentive for them to opt in comes in the form of vouchers and discounts they may be offered through the ads, and the promise of discovering new content that’s of interest to them. Advertisers pay a set fee of $10 per 1,000 impressions, and advertisers can cap the number of times a user sees their ad to avoid annoying them.

“We are moving the world of publishing from content providers to consumers,” Sureka told me. “Consumers are the new publishers.”

The company launched in 2010, and the service itself is due to launch next month. Sureka says he is looking to get the platform pre-loaded with operators and device makers. “We are talking to a major telcos in UAE, Korea and Japan, and in Europe, we are just starting to build up a relationship with people like O2,” he said.

This is another variation on the mobile advertising theme, and based on the demo we were treated to, one of the more interesting ones.

David Murphy