Beyond licensing Stringwire’s technology to other companies, it is unclear whether Stringwire will help NBC News monetize user-generated content. NBC News could potentially use Stringwire as a crowdsourcing tool for sponsored campaigns. But as Instagram learned when it added language to its Terms & Conditions granting it the right to sell users’ photos to advertisers, consumers may not take kindly to NBC attaching advertisements to videos that they submit to the news site.
Groman graduated from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program this year, and the origin of Stringwire traces to his Master’s thesis. NBC News has hired him to lead further development of Stringwire, from the network’s San Francisco office.
Even if NBC does not ultimately use Stringwire as a source of ad revenue, the pressure is mounting for the broadcast network to monetize its mobile audience. More than half of Americans now own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. As mobile usage continues to climb, mobile advertising grows increasingly compelling to marketers. Mobile advertising revenue rose from $5.3 billion in 2011 to $8.9 billion last year in an 83% increase globally, according to the IAB.