Mobiya Broadens Its Model to Become General SMS Ad Play

UK-based Mobile classifieds platform and provider Mobiya is shifting its model to become an SMS ad network. Classifieds still form the content basis for the network. But ads will be sold around that "inventory."

I sent an email to founder Sacha Vekeman about the change. He told me they have "Decided to move away from a premium rate SMS model and move the business model of our company to sell the outgoing SMS inventory to brand and response advertisers."

Vekeman added:

"After two full years of testing various user experiences with consumers, we got it right. After two full years of testing pricing models with consumers, we know what they want to pay, for what, when. After two full years of business development and Publisher’s deals, we have a foundation of traction for inventory sales."

Vekeman said Mobiya can offer location, context and behavioral data on its users as part of the proposition to brand and direct response advertisers. In the US at least the SMS ads segment is largely underserved. 4Info, CallGenie, MoVoxx and a few others occupy the space. But SMS is to mobile Internet advertising what search is to display: not sexy but where the volume is. 

Earlier I wrote about Mobiya as a potential eBay acquisition

I’m also guessing that mobile classifieds platforms are on the list, especially the EU-based Mobiya. eBay owns a range of classifieds properties in the US and Europe, most notably Kijiji.