Mobile Ad Network BuzzCity Moves to Desktop

BuzzCity has announced plans to extend its mobile ad network, which operates in emerging markets across the world, to include desktop advertising.

Depending on the market, desktop now has reach of anything from five to 60 per cent, CEO KF Lai told Mobile Marketing. “In most of the countries we operate in, mobile advertising spend is bigger than desktop. There are lots of mobile-centric or mobile-only advertisers, but typical brands are more familiar with desktop.

“Desktop agencies can’t help them in mobile and the move for us from mobile to desktop is pretty straightforward. We already offer targeting based on feature phones, smartphones and tablets, across various operating systems and as mobile ad tech has to be a lot more advanced, desktop is just another device type.”

Desktop acquisition talks

The company’s mobile ad operation is already bigger than many listed desktop networks in Southeast Asia. Lai said that BuzzCity is already speaking with smaller desktop advertising companies in the region about possible acquisitions. “We are looking at acquiring some of these networks, giving us access to advertisers and publishers, absorbing them into our network and ultimately making them more profitable.”

Lai says the number of feature phones is reducing in all markets, largely in favour of cheap smartphones and tablets from India and China running on Android. According to BuzzCitys mobile advertising report for Q3, 38 per cent of its audience now uses smartphones. But much of the company’s inventory is still served on the mobile web. “In somewhere like Africa, which still has about 80 per cent feature phone penetration, phones are becoming more like smartphones. But it’s the app ecosystem, an easy and appealing app install process, that defines smartphones from even very smart, internet-enabled feature phone handsets. These users are still relatively more difficult to monetise.”

Continued growth

Although mobile CPM is still lower than desktop, even in mobile-first emerging markets, Lai expects this to increase as the variety of mobile-first ad formats grows to the same level already seen on desktop. CPCs averaged 1.5 cents across the world for BuzzCity in Q3, with a six per cent growth in the number of banners served.

Click here to see BuzzCitys entire Q3 mobile advertising report.