Chartboost CEO Maria Alegre on why its direct advertising deal with TinyCo is great for them and for signed up developers

Get your ad cash and the 'middle-man's cut'

Chartboost CEO Maria Alegre on why its direct advertising deal with TinyCo is great for them and for signed up developers
We've previously seen mobile ad networks linking up to sell space around high profile games - Burstly did a deal with Words With Friends in 2010 - but Chartboost's new offering reverses the situation.

The start up, which is formed by ex-Tapulous execs and recently raised $2 million, has launched what it calls a Direct Deal with fast growing social mobile outfit TinyCo.

This sees TinyCo buying up ad space around third party games. 

We caught up with Chartboost CEO Maria Alegre to find out more.

Pocket Gamer: What's the thinking behind the hook up with TinyCo?

Maria Alegre: TinyCo is an expert in in-app commerce, and it's hungry for more users.

Other top free games know how to drive traffic, and they could be selling it directly to TinyCo and making thousands of dollars per day. They are probably already doing that, but they are giving 50 percent of that revenue to an ad network. Direct Deals are a win-win for both.

Chartboost built its platform to enable these relationships or Direct Deals to happen in a much easier and transparent way.

Doesn't this mean that Chartboost will, relatively, be losing money?

Yes, Chartboost is losing money by supporting all these Direct Deals for free, but we are winning a bigger battle: Direct Deals versus Ad Networks.

What's the advantage for a company like TinyCo with this deal?

TinyCo gets volume, transparency and money. By working directly with developers and publishers, TinyCo can guarantee that it is going to be the first interstitial shown to every user (volume), it can analyse the quality of the users acquired through each app (transparency), and TinyCo and the developer or publisher bypass the 50 percent cut that an ad network would keep, which benefits both of them (money).

Does this mean TinyCo has put cash into the deal?

TinyCo will put cash, and a lot of it, for each Direct Deal. It will pay publishers directly for their traffic, and it will pay a high price that will go 100 percent into the publishers' pockets, skipping the middle-man.

How big do mobile publishers have to be to gain access to such Direct Deals?

In general, publishers need to have around 100,000 daily active users to be able to do a direct deal. However, in this case and for one month only (now extended to 15 December), TinyCo is guaranteeing a deal to everyone who joins the Chartboost network, independent of size.

What Chartboost's role in the system?

The reason why publishers need to join Chartboost to run the deal is we take care of displaying the ad units, and tracking impressions, clicks, installs, then reporting that back to TinyCo in real-time, with full transparency on both sides, and with zero extra work for TinyCo.

Is there the potential for such deals to unbalance a small network such as Chartboost in terms of TinyCo gaining the bulk of the available advertising?

Chartboost is not a network - it is building an ad-serving technology to enable Direct Deals, which is the essence of why Chartboost got started: giving the power to the publishers, and enabling them to cut the middle-man and become themselves a mini-ad-network that monetises their distribution power a lot better.

Why is it only available for iOS devices?

Chartboost will expand to Android soon and so will Direct Deals. However, there are still a lot more companies making a lot more money on iOS right now and markets get started wherever there is money to be exchanged.

Interested game publishers can learn more and sign up for the exclusive deal by emailing tinycodeal [at] chartboost [dot] com.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.