mNectar Expands Its App Streaming Ad Network To Cellular Data Transmission
San Francisco-based company has launched Spectra, which can now stream over 3G/4G/EDGE connections in addition to the previously supported WiFi.
Since its founding in 2013, San Francisco-based mNectar has streamed short playable apps as ads, so that iOS and Android users could sample apps before downloading.
But, CEO Wally Nguyen pointed out to me, the native or hybrid apps — primarily games — used a video streaming protocol, similar to the one Google has been using, and it was limited to connections over WiFi.
To move beyond that, mNectar has now launched an updated app streaming network called Spectra. It can now stream playable apps-as-ads over cellular data networks like 3G/4G or EDGE, as well as over WiFi.
The new format was developed about nine months ago, tested, and is now being formally launched. More than 200 mobile games are currently available on Spectra, although the company says it could stream any app.
The app is virtualized, and the publisher can choose any segment in the app to stream. The company says that user retention rates for playable app/ads are twice that of mobile video ads, in terms of how long users keep playing a downloaded game.
Nguyen told me that the network, which now has thousands of servers around the world, could be employed to host streaming apps that aren’t ads, or streaming interactive ads that aren’t apps, but right now, the app-in-ad format works as a business model.
He added that there are no technical reasons why the streaming apps couldn’t be longer than the standard 30 seconds to 10 minutes, the range of most of mNectar’s ads.
“We are an ad network that uses app streaming as its content,” he said. Nguyen noted that App.io also provides app streaming-over-video, in a format similar to the one mNectar formerly employed, but it requires customized apps.
“As far as I know,” he said, “we’re the only one” that offers streaming of any app over cellular, as well as WiFi.
Both streaming apps and streaming interactive ads could solve some pending issues. Installing an app requires some effort, but, more importantly for the user, it occupies storage on the mobile device that will eventually hit a limit.
mNectar said that users download and install an average of 10 apps monthly but eventually delete about 90 percent. Letting users sample the app through streaming could qualify the downloaders, since they’ve already tried it out.
Streaming interactive ads counter the loading time issues that have prompted some mobile users to adopt ad blockers, which threaten a major source of revenue for publishers of free content.