Kiip wants game developers big time. And, it's willing to pay cash to attract them.
The advertising network, which focuses on showing ads to mobile gamers when they achieve milestones, announced Thursday a $100,000 "Build" fund for independent game developers to build integrating Kiip from the get go.
"We wanted to put our money where our mouth is," said Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip. "We're also saying, 'Why not give them [developers] a financial opportunity? Two guys who want to hack on something on the side and be artists, if we give them $5,000 it leap frogs them ahead."
While attracting gamers early on to build on top of Kiip, Wong hopes the games will have a constant focus on Kiip's rewards. "Some of these games haven't been created yet, so the exciting part is to see the games that are built around the Kiip experience," said Wong. "That's the coolest part."
The company will pick 20 top developers, based on submission of plans for their games. The 20 winners each get $5,000 in cash and access to judges and mentors. The final selection will be announced April 30. To apply for the build fund, developers can visit http://kiip.me/build
Additionally, Kiip announced a self-serve platform for mobile games and application developers to easily get into the Kiip network so they can start monetizing their games. At the moment, there are 110 hand-selected mobile game developers in the network, said Wong.
Kiip wanted to keep the system closed heretofore so that they'd know if they would have enough brand advertisers to supply the rewards. Today, there are 30 brand advertisers working with Kiip, such as Disney, Intuit, Carl's Jr., to name a few.
"Demand [from advertisers] is at a level where we can open it up to new developers," said Wong.
Why are advertisers starting to embrace Kiip? The alternative to Kiip's ads are banner ads, which are typically ignored. But Kiip ads are in the form of rewards. "These show up when people are actively engaged and when they're happy," said Wong. "It's a lucrative moment to be in front of a consumer." In Kiip's case, the ad is in the form of a reward, which also drives more click throughs.
For advertisers, CTRs (click-through-rates) are 10% to 15%. Of those who click, about 10% to 20% claim a reward.
The opportunities for advertisements to be show are also significant. Kiip's network is growing pretty quickly with four rewards shown every second in over 100 games and apps.
Wong would not disclose what kind of advertising budgets he's seeing. But he did say that advertisers are spending anywhere between five-figures to six-figures with Kiip. Kiip is certainly growing up quickly. Recently, it hired Manny Anekal, formerly Zynga's Global Director of Brand Advertising, as its Chief Operating Officer.