Rewarding Customers for Viewing Mobile Ads: Unlockd offers bonus data in exchange for your attention.

by Matt Klassen on November 3, 2015

The problems for mobile advertising have long been that it’s both intrusive and unwelcome; pointless, poorly targeted pop-ups that often gobble up users’ own data allotments. It’s really no wonder then that the deployment of ad-blocking software has skyrocketed over the last year, as people are looking for ways to stop the advertising scourge.

In an effort to combat this rising resistance to mobile adverting, advertisers and web publishers have long promised a revamped system, one that delivers user-specific, targeted advertising that speaks to an individual’s unique wants and needs. Sadly, such advertising still seems like a pipedream.

But certain customers in Australia may soon have significant incentive to embrace mobile advertising, as through a partnership between Australian start-up Unlockd and international wireless operator Lebara Mobile, customers who agree to view targeted ads will receive an extra 2GB of data, with promises that the content will be relevant to the user’s personal interests and/or location.

According to Unlockd, Australian customers of Lebara Mobile who download the app and opt-in to view a display ad, promotion, or piece of content, will receive a bonus 2GB of data per month, allowing advertisers unobstructed access to potential customers, while giving users significant incentive to actually sit through the advert.

The advertisement itself will appear on the lock screen, and will likely demand the user click to view the content in order to be eligible for the bonus data. But that said, it is a big step forward in an industry that has long shown a penchant for alienating and annoying, rather than enticing and engaging.

“It allows advertisers to reach that holy grail of geo-targeted, fullscreen mobile advertising,” Unlockd co-founder and chief executive, Matt Berriman explained, adding that, “The model that we have created is to effectively be the first access to consumer eyeballs, and this is what everyone has been fighting over in an increasingly fragmented media landscape.”

In fact, Berriman is so confident that his company’s innovative approach to advertising will work, that he’s confident it will be adopted by telcos around the world for the simple reason that it overcomes the greatest hurdle facing the ad industry, it gets eyeballs on advertising without alienating the end user.

“International telcos are all justified in their fears that the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter are making billions of dollars in advertising based off the handsets that they are handing out, while their ARPUs (average revenue per user) are declining. Traditionally telcos haven’t been that successful in selling advertising, as we have seen with Telstra and other large telco brands internationally, but we now give them [a] chance to take their piece of it,” Berriman said.

I’ll say that while the idea behind Unlockd’s advertising scheme is really nothing new, it is fair to say that the company’s efforts have generated significant momentum for such a framework, one that I would think carriers around the world will begin to adopt in haste, offering a small portion of the data resources they already have in exchange for far more effective advertising.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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