Chartboost one year on: 4 billion sessions a month, 8,000 apps

Mobile game cross-promotion service Chartboost is celebrating its first birthday by revealing new information about the size of its network. The service now drives more than 4 billion game sessions a month across over 8,000 mobile games.

The service, which bills itself as an alternative to traditional mobile advertising, allows developers to swap ad inventory directly, avoiding the revenue share requirements of most ad networks. The company instead makes money when developers use leftover inventory to run its network ads. Chartboost also offers a Kiosk program for larger advertisers like GREE, Kabam and TinyCo with multi-million dollar advertising budgets. Chartboost handles the payment tracking and performance monitoring for its Kiosk clients, trading off monetization for the chance to expand its network of developers.

The tactic appears to be working. In late June, Chartboost reported it was serving 2 billion game sessions a month, meaning the service has doubled its volume in less than six months. On the app side of things, Chartboost ads are now seen in 8000 apps, compared to the 5,000 it reported at the end of August.

Over the past year, competition in the mobile monetization space has become intense. Chartboost is now competing against traditional mobile ad networks like InMobi, Millennial Media and Google’s Admob, alternative monetization and advertising services like Kiip, PlayHaven and Vungle, and a new crop of cross promotion networks run by companies like PapayaMobile, 6 Waves and Applifier.

According to Chartboost co-founder CEO Maria Alegre, the two things that differentiate her company from its numerous competitors are its focus on transparency and publisher control.

“We are completely transparent in letting both publishers and advertisers see who they are buying from and selling to. We always give them the chance to cut us out as middle men and deal with each other directly,” she says. “We also have an API for everything and companies that work with us have easy access to data — that helps them optimize so that they have advantages over anyone else.

Chartboost is also popular because it give developers a lot of freedom in how they actually use the service, explains Alegre. The company gives developers full control over the technology, she says, which allows developers customize the player experience when they see an ad.

The company, which is backed by $2 million in Series A funding from Translink Capital and XG Ventures, is currently profitable and is finalizing a move into a significantly larger San Francisco office. Over the next six months Chartboost also plans to double its team from 30 full time employees to 60.

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