Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Listen to an AD on your Mobile and Earn MONEY

Many mobile phone users say the number of ads being sent to their phones has increased sharply. In the months to come, the numbers could go up many times more. The trouble is, the ads tend to be spams, trying to sell everything — from property to baby clothes — to everybody. Naturally, users are beginning to protest.
But now, developers of mobile phone applications are beginning to work on solutions that incentivise users to accept ads. IMImobile is doing a pilot project with a telecom operator that seeks to come to the aid of prepaid users who run out of talk-time and need to make urgent calls. The user will need to send an SMS to a designated number or dial up an interactive voice response system. The system will recognize the number and play ads, depending on the user profile. After playing one or two ads, the user will be prompted to punch in the number he desires to call and the system will connect him to the third party. It’s the reward for having listened to those ads. “The talktime is pre-determined and can be customized as per client requirement,” says Sudarshan Dharmapuri, VP for product management in IMImobile.
OnMobile has ad ring back tones (AdRBT). When a user gets a call, the caller will be presented with audio ads, which is personalized as per his/her profile. The platform has a unique call-to-action feature which allows interested users to respond to the advertisement instantly with the click of a single key. Users who have subscribed to Ad RBT will receive special discounts and offers from the operator to participate in this programme.
“The mobile advertising space is nascent but with such targeted advertising, it is scalable and promising. There needs to be more promotional and awareness activities,” says Pratapa Bernard, head of marketing & products in OnMobile. The ads are available in 10 languages and are played in a language based on the location of the caller. mGinger pays users to receive mobile ads via SMS. Users get 20 paise for each ad. Users also get 10 paise for referring friends and relatives and 5 paise for every ad their friends referrals receive. Once a subscriber accumulates rs 300 in his account, mGinger issues a cheque to him. A recent survey by consultancy firm KPMG found that Indian consumers are open to receiving ads in exchange for free content. The survey saw nearly 80% of users interested in free music downloads in exchange for listening to mobile advertisements.
Vodafone Essar launched a service earlier this year that gets you a caller tune free if you allow every fourth call to be an ad call. The tune will otherwise cost you Rs 30 a month. “Right now it is mostly the FMCG companies —- Cadbury, Coke — who are using the service,” says K Sankara Narayanan, CEO of Vodafone Essar. The service today has 15,000 to 20,000 users subscribed for it. “With a 71 million plus subscriber base and each subscriber receiving an average of 10 incoming calls per day, a penetration of 4-5% on ad RBT makes it the single most powerful marketing medium on the mobile in the country,” says Narayanan.
The mobile advertising market is currently about Rs 50 crore and is estimated by some to grow to Rs 500 crore by 2011. Some of the other companies trying mobile advertising are CitiFinancial Consumer Finance India, Max New York Life Insurance, Reebok, Rolex, Nike and Bingo chips.