Female-Focused Glam Media Moves Into Mobile

CEO wants to compete with Apple

Ad network and online publisher Glam Media says it has built a monthly audience of 200 million visitors worldwide, and now it's looking to grow by tackling the mobile market. CEO Samir Arora said he's ready to take on Apple and Google in the process.

Glam is best known as a company targeting women, but there are also partner sites covering topics like health and wellness, and some aimed at men. The unifying factor is an attempt to reach the audiences coveted by high-end brand advertisers.

And that, Arora said, is why Glam is moving into mobile. Brands want to reach audiences on smartphones and tablets, but they don't want to worry about technical questions like native applications versus websites, or Flash versus HTML5. And they want to work with one company for all their campaigns, he added, rather than someone new for mobile. So Glam is launching a GlamMobile ad network, with Lexus and Macy's among its initial advertisers.

"We want to really use mobile for brand advertising," Arora said. "We want to do the same types of things for high-impact digital advertising across all media."

He didn't hesitate to compare Glam to the big names in mobile advertising, especially Apple's iAd program. Arora noted that iAd is limited to Apple's iOS devices, namely the iPhone and iPad, while GlamMobile ads will work on iOS, Android, WebOS, and Windows Mobile, among others. GlamMobile will also integrate with Glam's campaigns for desktop PCs. (Google is working to bring similar integration between its DoubleClick ad server and its AdMob mobile ad network.)

Glam is also introducing today GlamEnable, which allows publishers to convert their websites into mobile-friendly sites and apps. The Glam-owned sites like Glam.com, Bliss.com, and Brash.com are now "Glam-Enabled," as are 75 of Glam's publishing partners. And of course, GlamEnable content will be optimized for Glam's mobile advertising.

Glam is reportedly making $100 million in annual revenue, with plans to go public soon. Last week, Arora declined to discuss the company's current finances, which may suggest that the IPO plans have moved further along (creating legal challenges to discussing them publicly).