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Pinger increases earnings with AT&?s in-app local ads

Pinger, a free SMS service, recently participated in a pilot program for a new AT&T local in-application advertising program that helped produce earnings three times the industry average.

AT&T Interactive, which is responsible for bringing AT&T's Yellow Pages business to digital, recently launched the in-app local ads on the YP Local Ad Network following a three month pilot. AT&T is hoping to take advantage of the potential in local mobile advertising as well as the growth in smartphones.

?The big news for mobile publishers who have ad-supported mobile apps is there is now a monetization solution that delivers high eCPMs AND high fill rates by serving local ads,? said Dawn S. Benton, director of corporate communications at AT&T.

?The news for mobile marketers and advertisers is that we're expanding the mobile reach of YP Local Ad Network, so if you're an existing advertiser, we're increasing your potential reach,? she said.

Local relevancy
AT&T Interactive has a large local media sales force across the country and relationships with nearly one million advertisers. 

The YP Local Ad Network enables more than 300 online and mobile publishers to monetize their properties. In 2010, the YP Local Ad Network served 38.3 billion local ad impressions.

A pilot program for the in-app advertising program ran from March to June of this year. In addition to Pinger, location-based dating platform Skout also participated in the pilot.

Pinger saw effective cost-per-thousand impressions that were three times higher than on comparable networks serving non-local ads. Overall, the pilot program generated 750 million ad impressions in three months.

The in-app local ads are served within mobile apps based on a user?s location. As a result, consumers are able to learn about and engage with nearby local businesses.

AT&T sees a strong revenue opportunity for mobile publishers with this strategy because in-app geotargeted local ads combine the relevancy of local information and the immediacy of mobile.

?For mobile publishers, in-app local ads occupies the niche between mobile ad networks with high eCPMs/low fill rates ?iAd ?  and low eCPMs/high fill rates ?  AdMob,? Ms. Benton said.

?We can uniquely occupy this space due to one of the largest sales forces in local media/advertising, enabling us to maintain ad inventory that is both broad ? coverage across many categories and geographies ? and deep -?ads from lots of local advertisers,? she said.

Locally targeted content can also increase the opportunity for mobile publishers and advertisers to engage consumers.

?For existing advertisers, our in-app local ads now potentially get their ads in front of more mobile users who may be geographically near their business,? Ms. Benton said.

Mobile app developers can start serving AT&T Interactive's in-app local ads using AT&T?s API or one of its platform-specific software development kits. The ads can be deployed across all major mobile platforms and wireless carriers, according to AT&T.

?Mobile publishers finally have an option between premium ad networks with high eCPMs and low fill rates and remnant ad networks with low eCPMs and high fill rates,? Ms. Benton said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode, Assoc. Editor, Mobile Marketer