AdVoice: Solving a multi-billion dollar problem
Bassim Haidar, Channel VAS CEO and AdVoice majority shareholder, enlightens AdVoice’s new chapter in India.
Recently we wrote a blog post about the huge penetration of mobile adblocking, a phenomenon that indicates a great danger for marketers not to be able to reach some hundreds millions of Internet users worldwide (check the post here). As you may have read, India is by far the country with the biggest adoption of mobile adblock software. Almost 59% of smartphones use such software. In the same time, mobile operators lose significant revenues from OTT players, as mobile phone users massively jump into solutions such as Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts. For Channel VAS and AdVoice specifically now it’s the time to go to market. AdVoice has officially started its operation in India. Why? Bassim Haidar, Channel VAS CEO and AdVoice majority shareholder, illuminates all aspects of our expansion in this country.
Q: What exactly does AdVoice offer? As a first and innovative step on the roadmap, we have launched our Demand Side Platform (DSP) that serves highly targeted mobile audio ads to callers. Effectively speaking, this replaces the ringback tone (tring tring). This launch has been made possible via our partner Bharti Airtel – who markets the service to consumers as Reward Tunes. AdVoice supplied the technology and acts as the exclusive ad sales house.
Q: Why did AdVoice chose to position itself as the world’s first telco ad network? Mobile phones have a scale that is unprecedented. They completely and globally outrank the number of TV’s, PC’s and Tablets. It is the device of choice when it comes to the daily number of minutes spent on it. Combine this with global mobile ad spends currently nearing 30% and meanwhile having overtaken ad spends on Print and Desktop it seems to be the space to be in when one wants to grow as a company in the years to come. ChannelVAS has strong relationships in the telco industry and with expected continuation of the mobile advertising disruption in the years to come and predictions of mobile ad spend overtaking ad spend on TV by 2020, it is the right time to go to market.
Q: Telco’s are lining up; What are they looking for? The mobile operator model is under extreme pressure from OTT players. Facebook and Google are not limited in the ways that telco’s are. With all their industry regulations, the data protections and limited geographic reach, telco’s are simply not equipped to grab a piece of the mobile or digital advertising pie. In addition, it is hard for a telco to meet the brands’ needs such as providing access to the telco first-party inventories. They lack the capabilities to target profiled audiences and offer scale that is measureable. Bottom line is that telco’s are completely sidelined when one looks at this digital advertising ecosystem of brands, publishers, SSP’s, DSP’s, DMP’s, exchanges and agencies. Hence they are looking for solutions such as the ones that AdVoice offers. A solution to a multi-billion dollar problem.
Q: How do mobile audio ads benefit brands? The mobile targeted audio ad unlocks 10-15 seconds of a consumer’s undivided attention while initiating a phone call. It is literally in their ear. And, it works on each and every phone. There is an astonishing amount of unlocked inventory available if you consider the statistics: an average of 500 minutes per caller per year spent on waiting for calls to be picked up. With some 1200-1800 calls per subscriber per year, we’re looking at a potential of 450 billion audio ad impressions per year on airtel mobile network while about 1.8 trillion on all mobile networks in India. Serving these audio ads instead of the traditional ringback tone has a wider reach than any other medium. There is a unprecedented pool of active mobile phone connections in India. Over 1 billion, with 65% of the population still on feature phones, thereof 30% living in media dark rural areas. Neither TV, nor Radio, nor Digital can reach these – let alone – all of India’s audience segments. AdVoice can. The advertiser benefits include measurability, zero wastage, advanced targeting, captive audiences and lead generating capabilities as callers can express product interest by pressing a key (e.g. # or *).
Q: What’s next? We’ll be releasing new features onto the DSP frequently and we’ll keep on adding additional telco channels as well as expanding further into other mobile networks. This will be benefiting the availability of more and more inventory, profiled audiences, unique reach and (re)targeting options for brands. With millions of daily impression inventories, AdVoice places itself in the top of the nation’s leading ad networks alongside Facebook and Google. Globally, there are 15 billion audio ad impressions daily. This is four times the number of Internet searches. AdVoice’s journey has just begun.
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