AnchorFree Offers a Killer Ad Network

by Andrew · 4 comments


I never think about wireless hotspots except when I need one, but when I need one it’s imperative that I find one, and when I find one it’s usually the case that they charge for access, and when I see that they do, I keep walking to find another. There are some places (airports, hotels, a Starbucks in Kansas) where there are no wi-fi options save one, and so I pony up the fee and cry a little inside. What irks me, though, is that even though I pay for the connectivity, I don’t receive any of the security features I receive at home: open-networks are just that, open to the world.

In HotSpot Shield by AnchorFree, though, I’ve found a wi-fi security platform that I’m loving from both a marketing perspective (it serves contextually relevant ads to a tech-savvy and affluent niche) and a consumer perspective (its free and secure.) AnchorFree HotSpot Shield privatizes and secures (via VPN) any public network, wired or wireless. The platform is ad-supported, and I can stomach something being ad-supported so long as its minimally disruptive and there’s legitimate value, and I think the value to consumers here is a no-brainer.

The value to advertisers, though, is what really piqued my interest…

Key takeaways:

  • AnchorFree reports that their Media Network serves nearly 1 billion ads per month to more than 13 million mobile web users across 190 countries and 5,000 web site properties
  • 3 million of those 13 million consumers make $100,000+ annually (comScore)
  • Ad media = videos and contextually-relevant banner ads
  • AnchorFree HotSpot Shield usage grew by 500% in 2008 and they locked in some major advertisers (American Express, McDonalds, New Line Cinema, et. al.)
  • They report an 8% click through rate (CTR) on their video ads. That’s HUGE! (Consumers are presented with a 30-second spot upon turning on HotSpot Shield.)
  • Users = captive, mobile, affluent, tech-savvy, security-conscious
  • AnchorFree has seen huge adoption in places where the Internet is otherwise censored… they report 1/4 of the English-speaking population of the United Arab Emirates uses AnchorFree HotSpot Shield

HotSpot Shield:


P.S. I’ve decided to spare you some clever/lame joke about The Daily Anchor / AnchorFree, but just know that I’ve spent the last 20 minutes trying to think of one.