CBS Strikes 4 Mobile Ad Deals

NEW YORK Forget about phoning home.

CBS Mobile has partnered with mobile ad companies AdMob, Millennial Media, Rhythm NewMedia and Third Screen Media in its bid to build a one-stop mobile advertising platform for its entertainment, news and sports programming.

“Teaming up with best-in-breed companies in an open and non-exclusive way is the cornerstone of our strategy. They will enable us to expand our relationship with our top 200 advertisers while reaching thousands of smaller advertising brands from around the world and wanting to place ads around CBS Mobile content,” said Cyriac Roeding, evp of CBS Mobile, in a statement.

The scope of the effort underscores CBS’ commitment to the mobile ad marketplace and the burgeoning importance of the space in general. (Fox has a similar deal in place with Third Screen.)

For CBS, all four companies will offer different ad-serving and distribution technologies and services.

Silicon Valley-based AdMob serves banner and text ads on mobile Web pages for advertisers and their agencies. CBS will initially use AdMob’s mobile ads on three of its sites: wap.sportsline.com, wap.cbsnews.com and wap.theshowbuzz.com. Omar Hamoui, CEO of AdMob, said the partnership would help establish “an important new channel in mobile.”

Millennial Media operates mobile ad networks for agencies, brands and direct marketers. For CBS, the Baltimore-based company will provide text and banner ads as well as sell network inventory on the mobile sites and video products.

Rhythm NewMedia, based in Mountain View, Calif., has ad-serving technology that allows mobile video commercials to be attached to mobile video content, which is then distributed to targeted audience demographics. CBS will work in tandem with the company in the U.S. Additionally, the ad sales team at Rhythm will sell video ads for CBS. Ujjal Kohli, CEO of Rhythm NewMedia, underscored that targeted ad-supported “video snacking” has gained pace for both consumers and advertisers in multiple countries.

Third Screen in Waltham, Mass., recently acquired by AOL, houses a Web-based mobile ad management and delivery platform that connects advertisers, publishers and mobile carriers. The company will sell advertising for CBS Mobile’s Web sites. “We view CBS as a first mover in mobile advertising and applaud their efforts to bring relevant, targeted advertising to the mobile consumer,” said Tom Burgess, CEO of Third Screen Media.

CBS said it would provide clients with a wide-ranging mobile advertising option menu, which includes text and banner ads on mobile Web sites, commercials in video news and sports alerts, video ads and commercials on CBS Mobile’s 24/7 television network.

Sponsors to date include Cingular Wireless, which sponsored a mobile sweepstakes for the CBS’ Big Brother 7, and Verizon Wireless, which has its branding on the CBS Mobile Web page, cbs.com and cbssportsline.com.

CBS’ Roeding declined to discuss details on the agreements with the four partners, saying only each differs from the others and that there is a revenue sharing base in that all parties share in the returns.