Advertisers are going to be clamoring for your cell phone in the near future. It's a no brainer that there are more cell phones and computers than televisions in the world, so why not run ads?
Right now a company called Pay Per Play is running advertisements in America for giants such as HBO, Harley Davidson and Taco Bell. These companies are reducing their mainstream network advertising costs and going to the Internet as a means of advertising their wares. And so far, it's working.
Now from the Internet to your cell phone. In India there is an advertising program called HapAd that is being tested and if it is successful, you can bet it will going gangbusters in America. There is already minor advertising on some United States cell phones while you're connecting to certain value added services but with HapAd, the cell phone user chooses that they want to hear an advertisement and they actually make money for doing so.
In simple terms, at the time of making a call, the subscriber can decide to hear the 20 second advertisement before the call is connected and this will be a subscription based service. There are also several options to subscribers - the type of advertisements they wish to hear, the duration for which they would want to hear it and also the option to skip an advertisement.
Each cell phone carrier can decide how they want to reward their subscribers. With either more airtime or discount on the cell phone bill or just a check for cash back.
The advertisement revenue is to be shared by three parties - Airvoice for the software and for procuring the advertisements, telephone companies for providing their network and the phone subscriber who decides to hear.
India is a massive market to test-drive this program in, in 2007 the industry estimates pegged the total value (of the mobile advertising market) at 250 million (rupies) and growing at a staggering 250%. Airvoice currently has no direct comparison as it offers advertisements in voice and its technology model is completely different, making it appealing to subscribers and clients.
With a mobile subscriber base of 250 million and targeted to grow to 650 million in four years' time, the cell phone is going to become a big advertisement tool.
Watch and see, it will be here in America before you know it!