Helping advertisers monetize the idle smartphone screen

Summary:Eureka Mobile Advertising, a startup by U.K.-based Indian entrepreneurs offers an innovative monetizing option to advertisers while mutually benefiting users via deals, discounts and free talk time.

Mobile advertising in particular has picked up quite a bit, especially with the growth in that space in the last few years. However, very few have actually created specific products to help mobile advertisers reach out to their customers and at the same time not be in their face or intrusive when it comes to thrusting their ads into their lives. 

That is where this product startup Eureka Mobile Advertising comes into the picture. 

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The company offers a way for marketers to engage with subscribers more effectively. In the process, it hopes to share the success across the digital supply chain including rewards for the subscriber and a cut of advertising revenue for the operator.

Traditionally, mobile advertising has been focused on in-app banner advertising or interstitials. Many a times this has been a miss and instead irritates the subscriber, who may be engrossed in playing his or her mobile video game or reading.

Instead, Eureka Mobile Advertising leverages the idle screen of the mobile phone (of the opt-in subscriber) to send precise marketing messages to the target audience using proprietary technology and analytics engine. It does not deliver content to users who do not want to receive them.

Screenshot
Advertisement appears as a full-screen image on the device.

The image appears full screen as soon as the phone is unlocked and this can be either dismissed or engaged with a double tap. Eureka's proprietary technology serves image advertisements to the mobile phone. 

Its primary customers are advertisers and marketers for now in India. The brands that have showed interest and employed our platform are from sectors such as Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), retail and Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

I reached out to Rahul Jaywant, Founder and CEO and Yogesh Sholapurkar, co-founder and CTO of Eureka Mobile Advertising. Both of them are U.K.-based entrepreneurs of Indian origin. They had an interesting share of perspective when they answered my questions over e-mail.

Q: What benefits do users get from Eureka? 

Eureka: "By signing up for Eureka Service, a subscriber can earn rewards for starters in the form of a discount on the mobile bill (for post-paid subscribers) or free talk time (for pre-paid subscribers), and at a later date redeem using Eureka Loyalty Points. In addition to this, the subscribers can get deals on products and services that marketers publish through the Eureka Service."

What are your insights and feedback on how users take to this service?

Users opt in for the service by a one-time download of the application from the Google Play Store. Currently this service is available only on Android phones. Android is by far the most popular OS in smartphones, with 74 percent of smartphones that were shipped globally in Q1 2013 being Android. Indian smartphone sales too follow a similar pattern. As a startup, you get the biggest bang for your buck, and the highest return on your resources by launching on Android.

At the same time considering the overwhelming demand from potential subscribers on other operating systems, Eureka will be available in the next couple of months on iOS, Symbian and BlackBerry. We will also add Location-Based Services and Timed Ads as additional features.

Why did you partner Indian telco Idea initially?

We are telecom agnostic, but we launched in India in partnership with Idea Cellular, with a 3-month exclusivity arrangement. This exclusivity has now come to an end. However, Idea has been a very good ally, and we very much continue to partner with them. 
 
Idea promoted the Eureka app to their Android subscriber base providing discounts on their bills and free top-up for customers. Now that Eureka is open to users across all mobile operators we plan to selectively collaborate with them and provide other value adds to their subscribers through Eureka. 

What are your long term goals?

Our long term goal is to expand to other markets in the world. We hope to launch in APAC in Q3 and possibly in the U.K. in Q4. Considering the rate at which smartphones are becoming affordable and the massive uptake which is evident from the annual shipments--expected to be 1 billion this year, we feel there is a substantial global market for this service and the various avatars that will follow.

For sustainable engagement, it is imperative that we keep the marketing messages relevant to the subscriber demography. 

How do you focus on placing relevant content to relevant users? How does the system work?

Eureka has an analytics system in place to analyze transaction records, profiles and other data. 

We have proprietary engines to schedule, target and deliver content to the mobile handset. All of it is cloud-based, and the client is an Android client. 

The following are the salient highlights of the service:

  • The Eureka Action Bar at the bottom of the screen allows subscribers to perform a variety of actions on viewing the advert including "like", "add to favourites", "launch" or "double tap" to go to the advertiser's mobile site, "see later" or "dismiss". The user can either engage should the ad be to his liking or if not interested dismiss it with a swipe.

  • Pause option to temporary stop incoming advertisements.

  • The service delivers advertisements, deals and relevant content to opt-in subscribers only.

  • Currently the technology is available on the Android; it will be available on the iPhone, Symbian and Blackberry platform soon.

What about data charges especially while and after downloading the application?

The application per se is 700KB in size (this is a one-time download). Each subsequent ad is 50KB on an average. So on a daily basis we hope to serve less than 500KB of data. With most users availing of Internet data packs and many on Wi-Fi, the data charges are negligible.

While this is a unique kind of an offering, it seems to have a good potential. I would like to see how this works out in terms of the trend that users show as consumers of advertisements especially with the perks that they get along with using this product. 

Topics: Start-Ups, E-Commerce, India, Mobility, Smartphones

About

Srinivas is an avid blogger and a technology enthusiast who has worked for a couple of digital/tech startups in India since 2010. He has also worked with a few technology clients dealing with tech startups in India and Asia-Pacific, giving him an insight on the country's startup space. In his spare time he listens to audiobooks, podcasts... Full Bio

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