Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Advertising Rewarded

Nobody likes being interrupted, especially with something irrelevant to their interests. Advertisements that interrupt a user’s experience typically don’t suffer from ineffectiveness, but can create a negative brand impact. That negative impact can be reflected directly to the brand being advertised.

We’re looking to change that.

Rewarded advertisements that offer paid or premium content for free, in exchange for viewing an advertisement, work well as a two-way street to keep the app developers and their users happy. And who doesn’t like to be happy?

It all starts with one simple idea. Rewarding users… with advertisements! It sounds just crazy enough to work, doesn’t it?

Our users actually want to see ads, it’s how they progress through our app.

This encourages a user to spend time engaging with an advertisement that they otherwise might have rolled their eyes at.

Think about your favorite (or least favorite) drinking game. Your “punishment” for doing poorly is a tasty swig from the drink in your hand. But, that's hardly a punishment, right? That’s what makes drinking games so much fun, kids!

Mobile advertising is being used in the same way, where we feel “punished” for having to click through an ad, just to keep playing. Even though it’s not much of a punishment, especially for the free stuff we’re getting because of it, we still roll our eyes all the same. That negative impact on the brand can be worse than a user just ignoring the advertisement.

netTALK, a telecom provider, has partnered with Tapjoy, a monetization platform and ad network, to provide free international calls on smartphones in exchange for viewing an ad.

Rob Barnett, head of strategic partnerships at Tapjoy, said consumers have shown they want mobile content and services to be free. Consumers are much more willing to engage with ads to earn content than they are to pay for it.

We’ve flipped the idea of advertisements, and we use them to reward players in our app. The advertisements our players see are not only targeted specifically to each player, but are used to reward them with in-app currency that they can use to redeem free prizes. It’s like we’ve given them their favorite drink, based on what we know they enjoy, and we let them take a sip every time they do well.

A sports fan uses our app for the free sports gear, but finds sports-related content and products that interest them along the way. Users have thanked us for helping them find fun, new apps and services they never would have known about if it weren’t for our rewarding platform.

Believe it or not, this simple idea makes everybody happy.

We like making people happy.

Read the full article about Tapjoy and netTALK here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hometown Recognition

Our company was recently featured in The Seattle Times about our impressive growth over the last year.
Click the image to check out the rest of the article!

Engaging the content and brands on this Kirkland startup’s app pays off in points that go toward sports items for the app’s users.

How it started: Influence Mobile launched in 2012 as Affinity Influencing Systems — because it deals with people’s affinities toward certain things. The company used to reward users who interacted online with celebrity content and with brands associated with celebrities. Now it has shifted gears toward sports, creating apps for 50 teams — with a goal to have 400 teams by 2017.

How it works: The company targets women ages 25 to 55. Say, a woman loves the Seahawks; she can download Influence Mobile’s Louder Rewards ”Seattle Edition” app. She picks something from the app she wants — a Marshawn Lynch jersey perhaps — which is worth a certain amount of points. By interacting and engaging with content about the team and players, she earns points that go toward the jersey.

A new version of the app is on the way that incorporates more trivia and other games in which users can earn points as well.

Moneymaker: It’s all about branded advertising. As users read stories, like tweets or play trivia games, they not only earn points, but also see ads, which means revenue for Influence Mobile. The new version will have more options for video advertising, and some developers will pay when a user installs their game’s app from within Influence Mobile’s app.

The numbers: Todd said the company grew “ridiculously fast” in 2015, ending with revenue in eight figures, primarily from advertising. It also recently received $3.5 million in funding from angel investors to keep growing.

On the other hand: The company is not yet profitable, “We have at times this year been profitable,” Todd said. “We tend to continue to grow and push ourselves into an unprofitable state at times,” he said. But, “we strive to maintain a goal of profitability.”

Users: Todd said the company currently has about 500,000 users, 75 percent of them women. The users, he said, are not exactly “hard-core sports fans … they are not going to be the type of people who are going to be in the ESPN app.”

Employees: The company has grown from nine to 46 employees this year, and moved to a new 13,000-square-foot office in October. With women the target market, 60 percent of the company’s employees are also women.

— Coral Garnick

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Rundown


Affinity: A natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship.
This word is what sparked a brilliant idea and has led to the production of 60+ Louder Rewards sports apps.

OUR COMPANY: Influence Mobile
Previously known as Affinity Influencing Systems, founded in 2012, is a mobile app company focused on people’s affinities towards their favorite sports team.

OUR APP: Louder Rewards

Available on Android and iOS. You can choose your favorite sports team and install that edition of the app!

OUR CEO: Daniel Todd (DAN THE MAN)
Serves as the leader of our pack, guiding us as we develop creative and innovative apps that allows sports fans to earn free gear through interacting and engaging with content about the team and players in the app.