Pocket — the article and video saving service that raised $7 million in funding last year — is getting serious about its monetization model today by introducing new sponsored content. For the first time, the app’s recommended feed will feature sponsored posts in addition to the usual reads, TechCrunch reports. But the company says these ads have to reach a high bar to be posted. "We don’t want this to become the bottom of the barrel content," Pocket founder Nate Weiner told TechCrunch.
The first of these posts, which will look like regular stories but denoted as sponsored, come from Slack and Intel, and the company will charge them based on impressions. Although the individual sponsors have to provide the content themselves, Pocket says it helps out with headlines and ensuring that the stories reach the right audiences.
"We don’t want this to become the bottom of the barrel content."
These new posts are the natural next step for Pocket and its goal to monetize its service. It first sold sponsorships in its email newsletter, which Pocket said was immensely successful. The revenue from those clicks and deals total up to the same amount the company makes from its 170,000 premium members, TechCrunch reported. Pocket Premium users pay $5 a month or $44.99 a year to be able to archive, search, and tag their saved content. That membership also provides an ad-free experience, which Weiner predicts will prompt more people to sign up. With these new sales options, Weiner told TechCrunch he anticipates his company's revenue will exceed $10 million this year.