AdWorksOne97 Communications is launching a mobile ad network called AdWorks: the network finds a mention in the One97 Calendar which we received, and its website is up here. However, One97 has not officially launched AdWorks yet. On being contacted, Vijay Shekhar Sharma Founder – One97 Communications, said “we’ll get back to you at the right time.”

Offerings

For Advertisers: According to AdWorks website, the ad network will offer media creatives, mobile payments, IVR, SMS, QR Codes, rich media ad units to advertisers. The company claims to offer the ability to target ads based on the operator, device, operating system, genres, time & day, geo targeting. It will also apparently offer real time reports, however we are not sure these are going to be AdWorks’s final offerings and could just as well be a place holder. One97 has not clarified with us what it plans to do next.

For publishers: As for publishers, the company claims to offer the ability to integrate ads with a few lines of codes and a reporting module which will enable publishers to track their earnings and visually analyze their content.

While mobile advertising seems to be the next big thing, even advertising giants like Google are still figuring out the best way to advertise on mobiles. Display advertising on mobile sees a lot of hurdles due to the smartphone’s small screen and advertising firms have yet not figure out a way to overcome it. While the data consumption on mobile in India is on a steady rise, it will be interesting to see how AdWorks will differentiate itself from existing mobile ad networks in the country.

Other One97 developments

In December 2012,  One97 Communications had acquired MobiVite, a platform which allows businesses and brand managers to create mobile websites and execute mobile web campaigns, for a maximum of $500,000. MobiVite is offered to customers is a SaaS (Software as a service) model.

On the other hand, One97’s consumer facing business Paytm had introduced online bus ticket booking on its portal, in December 2012 and toll card recharge option in August 2012. At launch, the company claimed to offer bus tickets across 10,000 different routes and more than 600 operators on its portal.

Mobile ad network timeline

– Interestingly, OnMobile, in their recent quarterly report stated that they will not be playing in the mobile marketing space.

–  Launched in July 2011, Manish Vij’s VUN Digital Ventures and Harish Bahl’s Smile Interactive’s SeventyNine had started its commercial operations in March 2012.  This platform included a cross-platform pay for performance distribution network for app downloads, an analytics and metrics platform, a rich media ad platform and a mobile product development studio. The company claimed to have served 1.8 billion ad requests as of November 2012. The company was acquired by Gruner+Jahr’s ad network Networkplay in November 2012, following which Sevetynine was expected to work as an independent business unit under the Networkplay umbrella, with its management reporting directly to the board.

– Vservlaunched in 2010 was a mobile advertising platform and/or network focused the feature phone J2ME applications market. It has since then expanded to offering solutions to Google’s Android platform as well.

– In 2009, Google had announced that it will acquire AdMob for $750 million and had officially acquired it by May 2010. When it comes to mobile advertising, Google’s AdMob still manages to be the market leader.

– Bangalore based InMobi too started its operations in 2007 as a local mobile search service and pivoted to mobile advertising firm. On January 2013, InMobi acquired a UK-based mobile data analytics startup Overlay Media. In July 2012, InMobi had acquired the San Francisco based startup MMTG Labs which operates a Facebook apps marketplace Appbistro and a white label app distribution platform AppGalleries. It had also acquired a UK-based mobile app management and distribution solution provider Metaflow Solutions.

– ZestADZ, which was launched in 2007, offered advertisers and agencies, targeted mobile advertising campaigns to drive brand awareness, generate traffic and leads, and increase purchase intent amongst other options. In 2011, Komli Media acquired ZestADZ for an undisclosed amount.