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I recently had the chance to talk to NYC-based mobile ad network Mojiva. Like many mobile ad networks, it started as a technology vendor that build up a critical mass of clients to form a publisher network. Quattro did similar, long before being bought by Apple.

In Mojiva’s case, the platform is mOcean, its legacy business that still brings in a steady revenue stream. It’s a white-label ad serving and analytics platform that manages billions of ads for mobile websites, ad networks and apps.

On the ad network side, Mojiva has impressions in 190 countries and has received $10 million in funding from UV Partners, Pelion VP and Bertelsmann Digital. It also recently partnered with Intel to power its AppUp center on netbooks and tablets.

Towards that end, the way forward, according to CEO Dave Gwozdz, will come from planting its stake in the growing world of tablets. This comes with the thought that bigger and better ad impressions are inherent. We’re already starting to see evidence of this.

“Bigger and better mobile devices are compelling brand advertisers and agencies to better utilize mobile,” he says. The same advertiser learning curves are playing out in mobile when it comes to location targeting. “It hasn’t gotten down to hyperlocal but will,” he says

This comes down to a distinction we often make between national advertisers targeting locally (national-local) and local SMB advertisers (local-local). To Gwozdz’s point, the majority of mobile local spend is the former but many market factors will bring it down market (just like we saw online).

This opens up a can of worms in the challenges of reaching SMB with ad sales. But Gwozdz is further along than many wide-eyed mobile companies that underestimate this challenge. His plan, though not entirely novel, is to work with local ad resellers like YPs, newspapers and broadcasters.

Its already working with News Over Wireless and Verve. Verve is in turn positioned among an emerging crop of mobile local ad networks that distribute mobile local ads. The local relevance has led to ad performance that outshines broader ad networks.

We had a panel made up entirely of such ad networks at our ILM conference in December and we’ll take the conversation further with Citygrid at our ILM East show next month. Hope to see you there.

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