From the launch of Apple’s iAds to Google’s acquisition of AdMob a year ago, it’s pretty clear that the next frontier of advertising is mobile. And today, another mobile advertising company called Rhythm NewMedia has landed a big new round of funding. The ad network is announcing that it’s raised a $10 million Series C round led by QuestMark Partners, with participation from existing investors LightSpeed Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Rembrandt Venture Partners.
You may not have heard of Rhythm NewMedia, but the company has some major clients — in fact, it only works with top brands both on the advertising and publishing side of things, and has worked with over 100 Fortune 500 companies this year. Publishers include CBS and Fox; advertisers include Best Buy and FedEx, and Rhythm NewMedia CEO Ujjal Kohli says that the company doesn’t deal with longtail content at all. Most of Rhythm’s business revolves around its video ad network, which is responsible for most of the pre-roll interactive video ads that you see on iOS and Android applications.
So what does that mean? Oftentimes video-centric applications from major publishers, like the TV networks for example, feature brief-pre roll ads in front of video content. The ads served by Rhythm are interactive in the sense that users can tap on something during this pre-roll ad to visit another website, or view a longer video clip (like a movie trailer). Kohli says that, like Apple’s iAds, all of these interactive video ads keep users within the app they’re using, which means they’re one tap away from getting back to the content they were viewing originally. In addition to its video ads, Rhythm is also responsible for some web ads, including some of the full-page ads you see in photo slideshows on large publisher sites.
Rhythm says that its mobile video ad network was averaging 425 million impressions a month in the third quarter, which was a 30% jump from Q2. The company has been around since 2005 and has raised a whopping $37 million since then, including this new round. Obviously mobile video ads weren’t nearly as promising back when Rhythm first started as they are now — Kohli says that the company was “a bit early”, but that things have taken off since the launch of the iPhone.