Interview With Human Demand Founder Howie Schwartz

Posted Sep 6, 2012

Human Demand is a company that has stepped out of stealth mode.  Human Demand is entering the growing mobile advertising industry with a new platform to help developers get more users on their app by providing transparency and control.  Developers will be able to see where their mobile ads are running filtered all the way down to the very app that they appear.  Using the Human Demand platform, developers are able to opt out of the ads that they do not want to be on.

Human Demand was started by Howie Schwartz.  Schwartz is known as the co-founder of OfferMobi (acquired by Moko Media).  Schwartz is an active investor through funds like BHV, FF Ventures, and Metamorphic Ventures.  Schwartz invested in companies like UpNext, 500px, Klout, and GameSalad through these funds.  Schwartz is a partner in a fund called Arc Angel.  Human Demand is mostly self-funded right now.

Human Demand has a team of 8 developers and 2 account managers.  Human Demand is able to show exactly what the acquisition price per user is on each app.  The company was in stealth mode since February and is running on a closed beta.  The company has managed 200 campaigns between iOS and Android across 9 countries during the beta phase.  The company has partnerships with MoPub, OpenX, MobClix, Nexage, and Smaato.  There are around 5,000 publishers in the Human Demand network and the average estimated cost per install is currently at around $1.50.  It ranges between $0.50 and $2.

Human Demand has a way to target campaigns using a color-coded “power level” system.  The colors are red/yellow/green/blue/purple.  Developers can target or block (red) apps on an easy to understand scale rather than having to figure out the actual dollars and cents per app.

Instead of loading a URL, banner creative, or setting up targets, developers can enter the iTunes or Google Play URL.  Human Demand will pull in all the information available from the marketplace and build the campaign for you.  The whole process is around 4 steps.

“The difference is that Human Demand focuses on transparency — other ad companies are not built for performance.  Human Demand is focused on true performance like cost per acquisition instead of cost per click,” Schwartz told me in an interview with  “There are currently 1,100-1,200 mobile acquisition campaigns right now.”

When I asked Schwartz how he was able to get a large number of customers signed up even though they are relatively new.  He said that all of their marketing has been primarily through word-of-mouth.

I also asked Schwartz how he is able to manage his time as an investor and an entrepreneur.  Schwartz told me that he has spent less time angel investing and is focusing more on venture funds as a limited partner.  He is also not participating on the board of any companies because he is focused on Human Demand.

I asked Schwartz how he came up with the idea for Human Demand.  He said that he has always been interested in working with video games.  Through his investments, he was able to see that mobile advertising was a very active space.

He said that big companies are working with large ad agencies and medium sized businesses are working with marketing companies.  However smaller companies did not really have a place to go.  Bigger developers also did not find a way to target “non-incentivized users.”  Many people that click on mobile ads simply install apps because they want to grab a prize and leave.  Human Demand helps developers find customers that engage with the app.

Around 4-5 out of the top 25 grossing apps have participated in Human Demand’s beta mode.  The feedback that these developers have given Human Demand is that they have never seen this kind of data before with any other companies.  Since it is self-serve, developers can learn a different way of buying media impression-by-impression.