The company works with software developers to help them reap advertising revenues from their applications, adding and tracking advertising much as ad networks like DoubleClick and Adsmart place banners on Web sites.
The ad-supported software space has heated up as of late, as software developers like Qualcomm explore the model. The action is partly driven by the contention that the shareware model doesn’t work, and also the idea that companies like Radiate could eventually be as big as the ad serving players.
One big difference between Radiate and the Web ad serving firms is that the Radiate system downloads ads to the user’s computer, so ads can be served and tracked even when the user isn’t connected to the Internet.
“It’s certainly a fundamental change in the way the software industry works,” said Jeff Ready, co-founder and vice president of marketing at Radiate.
The company asks users to answer questions when they first download the software, so it’s able to better target ads. Because of this, the model allows software developers to forge an ongoing relationship with users, and even track how they’re using the software.
Radiate has so far signed on more than 18 million registered customers who use more than 400 software applications. On average, the company registers more than 100,000 new members to its network each day.
“We’re kind of the quiet giant behind the scenes,” said Ready.
Because those who download and install software are usually more technically savvy than the average Internet user, Radiate users are an attractive demographic for advertisers.
But Radiate wants to expand now from quality to quantity. Part of the company’s strategy involves developing more user-friendly technology to expand its member base. The idea is to allow users to install a piece of software on their machine that would then allow them to access any of the software products in the Radiate network.
The company charges the equivalent of a $12 to $15 CPM for a run-of-network buy. Radiate currently serves more than 250 million ads a month.
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