The first session of the first Mobile Monday Chennai started with Asif Ali of Mobile-Worx. Asif is the Chief Technology Officer and he talked about Mobile advertising scenario in India.
With Indian mobile market expanding at a faster rate than China, there is a tremendous oppurtunities in the ad market too. Currently most of the revenue through added services in Europe comes through adult content, whereas since this is banned in India, the majority of value added services comes through Ringtone downloads. The VAS (Value Added Services) market was 2850 crores at the end of 2006 and is expected to grow to 1bn US dollars (4500 crores) by 2010. The companies are also trying to tap this market by delivering ad content.
But how many of us would prefer to have ad content delived to us every now and then. We could easily avoid the ads being send by service provider by adding ourself to DND(Do not disturb) list. To do this, call up your service provider and tell them that you dont want to recive calls or promotional messages from them. So companies have come up with a better idea to deliver free content. Its the same strategy thats going on in mainstream PC games. Remember playing Electronic Arts (EA) Fifa or Cricket. You would have noticed that the player jercy contains ads of Nike, Reebok etc in football and the bounday banners of cricket contains banners of Coke, Pepsi etc. Yes its the same stratergy here too. Provide free game download to users and embed ads within the game like if its a cricket, show an ad at the end of an over.
Other ad models targeted are utilise the free space of sms and insert ad in that space. For examle if you send your friend and sms that says “Where to have lunch?”, he would recive it as “Where to have lunch? Dine in at Hotel Country Inn, TNagar Chennai and get 50% discout today”. The ad would be content sensitive and location sensitive. That is if the message was sent from Tambaram, Chennai , you would definitely get some other ad. This method has already been patented by Mobile-Worx.
Another method is to replace the ringing sound and replace it with an ad announcement. With 3G technology expected to arriver in India by the end of this year, Mobile TV ads would also be a possiblily.
Even though mobile ad market is very small, why are companies pushing for it? The reason is very simple. Mobile is a very personal thing and it gives a sense of being connected always. The compnies have a vast database of mobile phone users than would help them target specific users for ads.
The session was pretty good and gave me a deep insight of certain facts and statistics which I was not aware of. If you would like to contact Asif, you can mail him at ” asif [at] mobile-worx [dot] com “.