Want to find out discount offers from retail stores? Very soon, you can get a glimpse of the best bargain by clicking on advertisements in your mobile phones. Mobile ads, which are received by as much as 75% of mobile owners in matured telecom markets like Spain, appear to be taking off in India. Bharti Airtel has begun a pilot programme to launch a platform for mobile ads in a big way. Reliance Communications is understood to be a contemplating a similar move.
“We are planning to come up with an innovative advertisement platform,” said Sanjay Kapoor, president, mobile services, Bharti Airtel.
Bharti has formed a team to launch a full-fledged mobile platform services by the end of this year. Airtel currently has revenues of over Rs 235 crore from its value-added services. Reliance Communications is already providing advertisements related to financial services and FMCG products.
The mobile advertising market in the country is going to touch Rs 500 crore over the next 5 years, according to consultancy firm Thomas Weisel International. While mobile advertising has largely been restricted to cases where consumers are forced to look at text messages, it is now evolving to the next level with advertisers targeting only interested consumers.
For example, if consumers are willing to receive and read advertisement SMSes, they are paid for that, thereby making this a mutually beneficial exercise for the advertiser and the consumer.
Richard Branson-owned Virgin Mobile has started mobile phone marketing services in India offering payments to consumers for receiving incoming calls. This is mainly to coax consumers into spending more time on the mobile phone, leading to potential opportunities for advertisement. As mobile phones outnumber TV sets by over 2 to 1, and internet users by nearly 3 to 1, advertisers in many markets have recently rushed to this media.