NBC Signs JumpTap to Sell, Serve Mobile Ads

NBC Universal signed with JumpTap to provide display advertising across an assortment of the network’s WAP sites. The agreement is expected to be announced today at CTIA, the Wireless Telecommunications Industry conference in Las Vegas.

Properties include NBC Entertainment, NBC Sports, Universal Pictures, USA Network, SCI FI Channel, and Bravo. NBC announced the WAP sites, in partnership with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Research In Motion yesterday. Across those properties, breakout sites are already planned for shows such as “Heroes,” “The Office,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Ghost Hunters,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” “Monk,” and “Psych.”

Jumptap acts as the exclusive third-party advertising sales agent for NBC Universal for mobile content. Mobile ad units include exclusive sponsorship opportunities, banner ads, SMS campaigns, and text ads. JumpTap declined to disclose early advertisers, but said many are from the financial services, entertainment, automotive, and high tech verticals.

NBC will have access to the mobile inventory for cross-channel media buys, when appropriate. “They [NBC] are really focused on integrated packages, we are really focused on mobile-specific,” said Paran Johar, CMO at JumpTap.

NBC Universal’s digital group struck an earlier deal with 4INFO to insert and sell ads in SMS and text messages. NBC will continue to work with 4INFO in this capacity.

Known for its white label search product as much as its ad-serving abilities, JumpTap is moving to expand its business model to provide search and advertising services to publishers. It works with AOL, and expects to add additional publishers in the coming weeks. “In the expanding mobile ecosystem…as traffic equalizes between on deck and off deck, publishers are very important,” said Johar.

JumpTap , as well as other mobile service providers, began by offering services such as white label search and ad serving to carriers. Many now partner more and more with off-deck content providers to perform similar functions. “It reinforces our strategy, monetizing on-deck or off-deck, to the next level making the advertising as relevant as possible to the consumer,” Johar said.

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