If PadSquad, a New York City based mobile advertising startup, has anything to say about it, 2014 will be all about tablets and native advertising for independent media companies. Dan Meehan, founder and CEO, explains that his company “sits between online publishers and advertisers.”
While large publishers like the New York Times, who’s redesign was actually more desktop-y than expected, have their own developers and sales teams to optimize the mobile experience for both users and advertisers, Meehan says that his company’s focus is on “the next tier of publishers, who have a large audience, and quality content, but rely on third parties to sell their inventory. We focus on categories — men’s lifestyle, sports, entertainment and are looking to power that long tail of independent media companies.” Currently, this means sites like GoldenGlobes.com, TheDailyBanter.com, and GadgetReview.com.
PadSquad provides its services free to publishers — they migrate the desktop content to responsive mobile sites. They make their money from the advertisers, Meehan says. “We handle everything on the backend and we work with national brand advertisers and facilitate campaigns across all the pubs that we power and then we share that revenue with the publishers.”
Just recently, they’ve started to dabble in native. Native advertising so far works best when the publisher and advertiser work in close partnerships, but Meehan thinks its time to break out. Last month, PadSquad partnered with Polar to do just that. Says Meehan:
We wanted to integrate their solution across all of the tablet and mobile sites we power. Our position is ‘let’s not keep native locked with these big publishers, let’s offer it to these independent media sites and we can do it at scale and cast a wider net.
PadSquad is currently working with large national brands, like Best Buy, who according to Meehan:
…are buying high impact custom tablet media ads and also buying content and native marketing from us. We create the content, using Polar, and we distribute that across all of the sites that make sense. We offer rich media along with native, and all done in house here.
Meehan says he and his staff consider themselves “the tablet experts” and hopes smaller publishers will start to see the benefit in getting an assist as they migrate to mobile:
You don’t have to be an expert in responsive design or mobile technology or how to integrate native or how to sell to big national brands. There are vendors like us who can help you do that really simply and then you can focus on what you’re good at — providing content and growing traffic — which is hard enough.
What do you think about middle men like PadSquad running your mobile redesign and ad sales? You can follow them @PadSquadMedia.