iPad
Credit: By Drnantu on Flickr. Some rights reserved.
Onswipe, a platform that helps publishers create websites optimised for iPads and other touch-screen devices, enables "new forms of advertising", according to its co-founder and chief executive.

The New York-based startup offers the software to publishers for free, earning revenue by selling ad space that the publisher does not sell.

Onswipe, which launched 18 months ago, has "no specific plans" to focus on pushing its product to UK publishers at present, but chief executive and co-founder Jason Baptiste told Journalism.co.uk it is likely to happen "sometime in the near future".

The UK is appealing due to the "common language, great brands, and as it's our second largest audience", providing publishers using Onswipe with 6.6 per cent of their traffic compared to US traffic of 72 per cent.

Onswipe, which is used by small and large publishers, including Bonnier, works to make articles, and the adverts that accompany them, look more beautiful, Baptiste explained.

He thinks the tablet represents "the most fundamental shift in human computer interaction in decades".

"We thought something beautiful can be done here. Why don't we make the web a much better experience, something built for this device – much more like a magazine, much more personal? Let us be the platform that powers the way the world experiences the web on tablets."

Instead of charging publishers for the software, OnSwipe has taken a different route, thinking magazine-like advertising was more promising than banner ads used on websites.

"Our inspiration has always been magazines. If the tablet is going to make content on the web feel closer to a magazine, well the ads should follow it."

Those ads are sold both by the publisher and by Onswipe's sales team.

"We say, 'let us sell the advertising that your team doesn't sell'. 'Sell all the stuff you want to but when it comes to full page ads and the traditional ads we've made more beautiful, let us sell those'.

"Onswipe enables new forms of advertising, that's really what we're building the business for. Its beautiful full-page magazine-like ads and 'promoted content', which is the buzzword du jour of creative advertising."

"What we set out to do is to design a platform that was an experience for content and make it beautiful."

And that is paying off for publishers, according to Baptiste. "We are seeing an average of 300 to 800 cent increase in pageviews across the board ... That's a meaningful boost to their own numbers and also to their own revenue.

"The final piece which we've started to build out by building up our sales team is building up their revenue just as significantly as building up their pageviews."

He explained that Onswipe works mainly with ad-supported publishers and not paywall content publishers.

The other key to success, he added, is that by being web-based, there are no barriers involving users having to download an app.

"Most of a publisher's traffic comes from the web: through search, through share. Even opening content inside of the Twitter or Facebook app is using the web, and you want a tablet publisher to solve the biggest problem – which is the tablet experience on the web."

He added: "We're reaching more than 10 million monthly active users on iOS devices," a milestone reported by TechCrunch in December. "We're reaching more people on iPad than Wordpress.com and Tumblr combined by a double digit percentage in the US."

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).

blog comments powered by Disqus