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Zeep Media launches self-serve mobile advertising network

Recently founded mobile technology company Zeep Media has launched a self-serve mobile ad network.

Zeep Media creates technology that connects and empowers mobile content publishers and advertisers. Its services let advertisers reach targeted mobile audiences while paying only for measurable results.

"Our basic strategy is to provide an easy-to-use mobile ad network that makes it easy for any advertiser to reach a mobile audience and delivers value to SMS publishers," said Luke Pacholski, cofounder/vice president of Zeep Media, Irvine, CA. "We noticed many Web sites and services with SMS features sending high volumes of messages that they couldn't find advertising for.

"We saw this as the perfect opportunity to create a unique ad network that would tap into that pool of messages," he said. "SMS publishers benefit by generating revenue from their content and advertisers benefit by gaining easy access to a mobile audience."

Zeep Media's goal is to remove common barriers to entry associated with mobile advertising.

The company claims that it only takes minutes to create and start a campaign and there is no complicated contract, agreement or minimum budget.

During the beta phase, Zeep Media will credit the $30 set-up fee to all new accounts and add another $30 bonus credit towards mobile campaigns.

"We think advertisers will like our network because it's a risk-free way to get into mobile advertising -- they only pay for measurable results," Mr. Pacholski said. "Even if an ad teaser is shown hundreds of times with no replies, there is no cost to the advertiser."

Zeep Media's ads are response-based.

Advertisers write short ad teasers that are placed in text messages sent by Web sites to their consumers.

Recipients can reply to any message with an ad teaser to receive the corresponding full advertisement in a new message. Advertisers only pay when this happens.

Even if an ad teaser is shown hundreds of times but receives no replies, there is no cost to the advertiser.

Zeep Media claims that advertisers always pay fair market value for advertising and never pay more than they want to because the company delivers ads based on a competitive ad auction.

Advertisers set a bid and compete with each other to place their ad teasers in text messages.

Their bid determines how often an ad teaser is shown, and they only pay when a reply is received.

Zeep Media brings value to advertisers by placing ad teasers in SMS content sent to subscribers who want it.

Since the company's ads are text-message based, all handsets will be able to support them.

Specific restrictions will depend on each individual publisher, since they will be sending the messages.

Zeep Media is working on integrating their ad network with partner Web sites like Tatango.com, Geezeo.com and Tagga.com.

Sites powered by Zeep Mobile include Mavs.com, the official site of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and http://shizzow.com, a location-based social Web service. Both of these are working with the company to integrate its service and are not live yet.

In addition to these publishers, Zeep Media also places ads in content generated by developers using their free SMS API, Zeep Mobile.

"Our API is a tool that allows any website to send or receive SMS messages to and from their users," Mr. Pacholski said. "In exchange for this service, we reserve space on these messages for ad teasers."

Advertisements placed in traffic sent via Zeep Mobile's API will reach all major carriers except for T-Mobile, which is still in the process of approving its short code.

During the beta phase, Zeep Media will work to refine and improve its service and message volume will be kept low until the end of beta testing on October 31.

"We opted for the self-serve model because it opens the door to the long-tail of advertisers, like Google's AdWords did for the Web," Mr. Pacholski said. "By eliminating the typical entry barriers to mobile advertising, we're hoping to attract a large base of smaller advertisers.

"To complement the long-tail approach, we're also actively looking to partner with existing advertising agencies who would like to offer mobile advertising to their customers," he said.