Massive Scores $10 Million

In-game ad network Massive added $10 million to its coffers in a third round of venture funding, which the company will use to fuel its expansion into new markets and bolster its technology infrastructure.

New York-based Massive will expand its ad sales staff in its new Los Angeles and San Francisco offices. A London office is planned for mid-2005, which will service advertisers in the U.K., France, and Germany. Massive expects to add as many as 20 employees to the current 30 on staff, according to CEO Mitch Davis.

The company will also use the funding to build up its infrastructure to meet the needs of increased traffic on its network. Massive is currently developing new creative units and enhanced ad-serving functionality, set to debut at the end of 2005.

Massive’s platform operates much like online ad-serving networks. The company dynamically delivers advertising into video games within its network, then measures results and reports results back to publishers. Ads are downloaded from the server in the background of game play to minimize effects on game play or performance.

The company has signed 8 of the top 20 video game publishers to its network since it launched in October, including Ubisoft, Atari, and Vivendi Universal. So far, the top three publishers — Electronic Arts, THQ, and Activision — have not signed on, but Davis hinted Massive would be making some publisher-related announcements soon. Massive expects to have its ads in 40 game titles by the end of the year, shipping more than 45 million units, he said.

Most advertiser interest in Massive’s network has come from traditional brands, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson.

In December, Nielsen Entertainment signed with Massive to provide third-party accountability and measurement for in-game advertising on the Massive network. Nielsen is also building a set of ad-buying tools so advertisers can purchase in-game ads in the same manner as TV ads.

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