Users of Tumblr's iOS and Android apps will see up to four ads
per day, and they'll be differentiated with a dollar-sign icon with
beams shooting out of it, just as they are in the two existing
placements. A Tumblr spokesperson said these ads will ultimately
migrate to desktop computers but offered no timetable.
"This mobile advertising opportunity is native to how our
consumers experience content on our apps; as a continuous stream,"
said Tumblr head of sales Lee Brown, in a statement.
Among the first advertisers to try Tumblr's mobile ads are ABC
Entertainment and ABC Family, GE, Pepsi and Warner Bros., which will
debut teasers for the summer movies "The Great Gatsby" and "The
Hangover Part III" this week.
It's part of an ongoing about-face for a company that once
publicly eschewed advertising, when its founder David Karp told the
Los Angeles Times in 2010 that "it really turns our stomachs." He
had softened a year ago when he announced Tumblr's first ad --
the "Radar" unit -- at Ad Age 's Digital Conference in 2012, but
stated that the company was seeking to work with creative
Aside from advertising, the company has experimented with
allowing users to pay to expose their posts to a wider audience on
Its first major brand advertising campaign was for the 2012 UEFA
European Championship with Adidas, which already had a
Tumblr page populated with the animated GIFs that the platform is
Last month, Mr. Brown, said that he expected the company to
reach profitability this year and that the average advertising
purchase on the platform was "just under six figures."
The decision to roll out ads in mobile stream first also
underscores just how quickly the mobile ad market is growing. U.S.
mobile advertising will be a $7.29 billion industry in 2013,
according to reported issued by eMarketer this month, an upward
revision of $100 million from December.
For the sake of comparison, Twitter didn't roll out mobile ads
for its native apps until 2012, two years after it introduced
advertising. Facebook likewise announced its first mobile ads only
in February 2012.