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InMobi builds contextual expertise with Overlay Media acquisition

In a reflection of the importance of contextual relevancy in mobile advertising, independent mobile advertising network InMobi has acquired context aware computing firm Overlay Media.

British company Overlay Media built its Context Engine technology to deliver personalized content to mobile users. InMobi is expected to use the technology to deliver more targeted and personalized ads to users.

?The Overlay Media acquisition provides significant positive benefits to the research InMobi conducts and feeds into InMobi products,? said Shrikant Latkar, vice president of marketing at InMobi. ?We are expecting an exciting year for product innovation.

?While it is early days, the potential for delivering enhanced and contextually aware content to consumers is very interesting for InMobi,? he said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Interactive advertising
Overlay Media works with mobile device manufacturers and brands to develop contextually aware mobile applications and location-based services as well as provide consultancy and research support. Its technology focuses on enabling mobile devices to provide a highly personal and immersive user experience.

The outlook for ad networks is good as consumers spend increasing amounts of time engaging with mobile devices, resulting in continued growth for mobile ad networks.

The savvy ad networks are investing in scaling up and offering new services to insure they remain competitive as mobile advertising moves past its initial trial phase into more sophisticated and bigger strategies.

Leveraging mobile to deliver contextually relevant experiences for brands is one way that ad networks are expected to meet brands needs in 2013.

The ability to leverage not only the time of day and a user?s location ? which marketers are getting better at all the time ? but also a user?s behavior and preferences is key to strong contextual relevancy.

?Advertising media has evolved from one-way communications to more interactive advertising,? Mr. Latkar said. ?With today?s advanced mobile technology, a more personalized advertising experience is possible, and today marketers are able to reach their targeted audiences more efficiently and effectively.

?We?ll see more contextually-driven marketing in 2013 from all available sources of ambient information about user activity,? he said.

Personalized services
The Overlay Media deal is the latest acquisition from InMobi, which acquired MMTG Labs and Metaflow last year as it looks to build its rich media mobile advertising platform.

MMTG Labs is the parent company of AppBistro and App Galleries, a white label app store platform. While AppBistro is reportedly being shut down, AppGalleries could give InMobi a way to provide another way for publishers to monetize mobile via custom app stores.

The Overlay Media team will be based from the InMobi EMEA headquarters in London.

?Overlay Media are leading developers of mobile data analytics based technologies,? Mr. Latkar said.

?Overlay specializes in building technology that enables mobile devices to deliver personalized services to users based on their current or future activity,? he said. ?The technology aims to make human-computer interaction as seamless as possible.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York