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How to Do Ads on Phones

National Tech

More people are listening to content on their mobile devices. But advertising hasn't quite kept up with ultramobile consumption. A DC tech startup may have the answer.


DC-based XAPPmedia snagged NPR this week as its first big customer. The broadcaster will use XAPPmedia’s interactive audio advertising technology to let people who listen to its news app have more control and interaction with ads and improve engagement for advertisers. Listeners will be able to give commands to ads like “call now” or “send coupon.” Not saying anything means you don’t want to hear the entire ad. Lumber Liquidators is the first NPR advertiser to sign up for the new service.


The founding team—Frank Raines, Michael Myers, Pat Higbie, and John Kelvie—says it’s the new generation of advertising for ultramobile, which is content that we consume only by listening and not seeing or holding. Research shows that 50 million people are consuming content in this way. Interactive audio advertising makes consumers happy because they have more control, the advertiser sees higher response rates, and publishers can charge over $20 per thousand impressions, more than what they’re charging for traditional online ads.


The 12-person, angel-funded company, launched November '12, will spend 2014 targeting Internet radio companies. Competition in the interactive audio advertising industry is scarce, says Pat, but advertising is changing quickly. Just a decade ago it was a big deal to just have an ad on a webpage. Consumers have also become more tied to mobile devices, even listening to them as they sit in front of their computers.

Related Topics: Frank Raines, Michael Myers