AdsBrook serves up an African ad network
The ad network is a fascinating business model. An advertiser pays for ads to be displayed by publishers. Publishers, in turn, get paid for displaying these ads. Both parties pay a fee to the ad network. In 2010, the Zimbabwe Guardian examined the lack of ad networks in Africa, saying:
Media fragmentation in the region remains a major challenge for Advertisers intending to reach the more than fifty million internet users in the region. The Ad Network model here was long overdue…With increased uptake of Online Marketing among major Africa brands, 2010 could herald a big change in the way some of the big media agencies and big brands targeting consumers in Africa buy display advertising.
At that time, we only found evidence of one, maybe two truly African ad networks (sabiOne and Pamoja Media). That has since changed, most notably with the upcoming launch of AdsBrook.
AdsBrook is a startup based in Accra, Ghana and is one of the products of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. The company was founded in February this year to address the need for an advertising network that would serve locally relevant ad content through African publishers to consumers. Think of it as an ‘AdSense for Africa’.
We recently heard from AdsBrook founder/CEO Derek Jason Bossman. He writes:
The service is built for both web and mobile platforms with the ability to serve ads on websites and blogs through a script which serves the ads and also on mobile applications through an API which supports all mobile platforms currently. We have finished working on an alpha version of the product which we are currently testing with a few publishers and app developers and are currently negotiating deals with local ad agencies to run campaigns.
In addition, AdsBrooks plans to release a V2 in the next 3 months with extensive analytics. It will also offer both publishers and advertisers more control over the campaigns and ads.
We got the chance to try out the platform and we must say that it’s very simple to use. A campaign can be setup in minutes – all that’s required is choosing whether you are a publisher or advertiser, selecting a platform (website, mobile web, android, iOS), and choosing the ad format (text, image + dimensions). One key ability of AdsBrook is to monetize mobile apps.
Kudos to Derek and the supporters at MEST for creating such a promising product that ties in to not only the growth of mobile users, but also the increasing volume of local African publishers (content). e-Commerce partners can use the ad network to drive business to their site. Mobile app developers can rely on ad space to generate much-needed revenue.