Collider Media Eyes Targeting And Privacy In Mobile Media Says CEO Jones

collider mediaBryan Jones is CEO of Collider Media, a provider of targeting technology for mobile advertising. Can you share a bit of background on you and how you got involved in Collider Media?

BJ: Sure.  I’ve been in mobile for about 4 years now, having been a corporate attorney before that.  It’s been an exciting 4 years, watching the ecosystem grow and expand.  When I first got into mobile, it was before the advent of iPhones, app stores and android devices.  But, even back then, there was an important piece missing from mobile advertising – the ability to deliver relevant, timely and meaningful ads to a consumer.  So, 2 years ago, a group of us formed a company, Collider Media, to specifically build a targeting solution that not only benefits networks and advertisers, but does so in a consumer friendly and privacy compliant manner.

What problem is Collider Media solving?

Collider Media is focused on being a publisher centric data management platform – essentially working with and on behalf of publishers to be able to augment their own data sets with offline data such that advertisers can continue to execute ad campaigns in the manner they are accustomed to offline and online.  This ability to efficiently target audiences is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, pain points for advertisers and agencies, and we provide a simple solution for the market.

Are you an ad network? What’s the competitive set?

We are not an ad network.  Rather, we’re a technology platform that enables publishers to more effectively and efficiently utilize their data for targeted advertising purposes.  In the mobile world, there really aren’t any true competitors.  We’ve built our platform to work without cookies, which often don’t work in mobile, and without digitally finger-printing a device, which we believe could be very dangerous to a consumer’s privacy.

What has been the go to market strategy to date?  Thoughts on how you’ll position in the future?

We launched pilot programs in late Q3 of 2010 and started testing campaigns in Q4 to prove the value of our hypothesis.  I would say we hit our stride about 6 months ago.  Our goal is to establish Collider Media as a leader in both privacy and targeting.  We’ve continued to see quarter over quarter growth in publisher partnerships and continue to evolve ourselves to support more demand channels.  For example, our recent addition of mobile video.   We also announced a partnership with TRUSTe back in June.  Our positioning is pretty straight-forward: to continue to be the industry leader in audience identification and optimization, all conducted with the highest level of privacy standards.

What are your thoughts on mobile display for the browser versus apps? Is one a bigger opportunity than the other?

From our standpoint, Collider Media is agnostic.  We’ve built our technology to work with any ad server, so for us, mobile display, mobile apps, mobile video, and even SMS – it all looks the same to our platform.  Personally, I think that they are both big opportunities; however, with HTML5 beginning to be adopted in the market, I think that browsers will begin to regain some of the market share of publishers resources.  We feel utility applications and entertainment (music and gaming) will always be a better user experience in the application environment.

What kind of unique datasets can Collider bring to the table for ad targeting purposes and how is this different than competitive offering?

Our goal is to be able to seamlessly integrate first party, third party and advertiser data sets into the mobile ecosystem.  We’ve announced some of our data partnerships, such as our relationship with TARGUSinfo.  We’ve done some interesting campaigns in the travel, retail and real estate verticals that have shown the benefits that targeting can bring to mobile advertising.   The benefit of this type of data is that it isn’t tracking the user’s behavior to retarget, but instead allows advertisers to use the data sets they’ve become accosted to using in offline advertising and marketing.  The benefit to our partners is that we do the heavy lifting as it relates to aggregating thousands of data insights into a single platform, in a privacy compliant solution, allowing them to focus on what they do best.

Can you talk a bit about offline data is part of Collider’s offering and where you see that going?

The great thing about our platform is that it can be used to help make better informed decisions on any content delivered to an opt-in user.  For example, publishers are now able to use offline data to target offers in the form of a mobile campaign.  For example, we recently announced a partnership with LSN Mobile whereby marketers can direct their campaigns to highly targeted, appropriate audiences who are far more likely to take advantage of their offers and convert to sales.

How does pricing work?  Any “engagement” pricing, for example?

Since we serve as a publisher-centric data management platform, we work on behalf of the publishers.  Our pricing typically aligns with how they are selling, which primarily is still CPM at this point.  As more liquidity flows into the market and exchanges become an effective tool in mobile we see those evolving over time.

So, Apple phasing out the UDID was a big deal for some. Was it for Collider? Why or why not?

Apple phasing out the UDID is a great step for consumers’ privacy.  For us, it was a non-issue, as we’re not focused on targeting based on the device.  I think this is the first step towards the industry self-regulating, and should be viewed as a positive development.

How is the company funded? Any plans for more capital?

We’re a venture backed company, with a great group of both venture and angel investors.  At this point, we’re not out in the market raising capital.  We are always evaluating our opportunities, and the resources we need to continue to be the industry leader.

A year from now, what are some of the milestones you would like the company to have achieved?

In a year from now, we’d like to have firmly established ourselves as the industry leader providing optimization services to publishers, agencies and ad networks for targeted ads, campaigns, offers and couponing.  We’ve already seen demand from our partners about the use of our solution on other screens, so who knows, you might see us powering more than just mobile!

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