Transforming video ads into vehicles for giving back
Mike Cassidy is the co-founder of AdWap, a media platform he runs alongside his cousin, Matt Sawyer, and their friends, Jack Carey and Sherrod Davis. AdWap—an acronym for “Advertising With a Purpose”—allows individuals to give to charities and causes simply by watching video ads on their devices. Each view triggers a donation, as well as an entry into a daily cash giveaway, further incentivizing people to use the platform every day.
EDWIN WARFIELD: What are your plans moving forward? How do you intend to scale the AdWap platform?
MIKE CASSIDY: How we scale depends on how you view it. What comes first: the chicken or the egg? With AdWap how we approached it was, “Hey, let’s get a destination app out there. Let’s get some proof of concept to show that there’s an appetite for this.” Users care about raising money for charities and they like to do it, preferably if it doesn’t cost them any money. So, there is the appetite for that but we needed to prove that out. How we then scale from there is we have two options: we can either put money into marketing our app and trying to get people to drive it to our app and website, which we will do; but where we think we can get the best scale is by going out and approaching different publishers or these exchanges—and I can kind of touch on that as well—and saying, “Look, you might get 20 million monthly active readers. You might get eight million daily active readers. You’re making 10 cents per advertisement right now,”—just to make the numbers clean. “Imagine if we can tell you that you can go to term to your advertisers and say, "We are watching the ad all the way through and the users are verifying engagement. Wouldn't you pay an additional 40% premium for that—an additional 4 cents—knowing that your money isn’t being wasted?’” And most say yes. That’s what the market tells us right now.
In addition to all the other features that we have with the confirmation screen, just keep it at what the market says right now—an additional 40% premium. Now, instead of making 10 cents per ad, you’re making 14 cents per ad. We’ll kick two of those to you or the charity, we might get one penny, and you get an additional penny; or you get two and we kick one to the charity—whatever the agreement shakes out to be, but now, all of a sudden, instead of us driving traffic to our app, we’re leveraging the 8 million daily active readers from website x-y-z, so the scale is terrific. Video advertisements aren’t going anywhere. The only difficulty associated with that with us is that the amount of time that it would take to onboard that many publishers.
That’s where I wanted to touch on with the exchanges. We go direct to the source. A lot of these different websites get their advertisements are plugged into these programmatic exchanges. We call up a programmatic exchange and say, “Hey, here’s why you want to integrate with us. We have this licensable product. It’s a complete differentiator for you from any other exchange in the market. You can’t skip it. If you switch out of a tab, it freezes it. It will ultimately earn you a whole lot more money and we’re just saying, "Let’s send a small rip to a charity.” There will be that incremental value increase, and from there, we don’t have to worry about calling up publishers A through Z—we just call up the alphabet exchange and we get access to all of those different publishers.
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