Tapjoy Lures Zynga to AppStrip, Doubles Network Size

Two months ago, Tapjoy acquired a cross-promotion bar called AppStrip from its creator, Broken Bulb Studios. Following the sale AppStrip seemed to have relatively few users compared to its main competitor, Applifier. That’s now changing. Eric von Coelln, vice president at Omgpop, recently noticed Zynga’s CityVille being promoted in the bar:

Although Zynga’s use of AppStrip is something of a surprise — the social game giant has a huge network of its own to cross-promote within — Tapjoy declined to comment on the relationship. Instead, the company told us that it has doubled both the impressions and clicks on its network since the acquisition.

AppStrip is also adding features and upgrades: the company is improving the management console and reporting, as well as working on click fraud and an optimization engine, and will continue to invest in the bar throughout this year.

The cross-promotion landscape is becoming truly interesting. While Applifier was the first large bar, and set up the exchange model now being used by others, it’s having to fight off AppStrip and, since late December, Digital Chocolate’s VIP Games Network.

It’s fairly obvious why Tapjoy is so interested in the space; besides helping developers monetize, it also wants a piece of the distribution network on every platform. On Facebook, its best way in may be through AppStrip.

Tapjoy also announced a new raise of $21 million this morning, in large part based on its strength in the mobile market; we’re covering that over on our new sister blog Inside Mobile Apps, where we also recently posted in-depth coverage of TapJoy’s transition between markets.