Smartphones and other connected devices are not only totally ubiquitous, but they are now easily the most used accessory (even more than watches and jewelry) for both men and women. And while there is enough talk about gadget detox, let’s face it – these devices have changed our lives forever and become our office and our assistant at the same time – besides, of course, being our entertainment device, our wallet, our fitness coach among others. And yes, they are the primary communications device that we now use.
In this smart phone era, businesses have built a fortune – trying to solve our problems, make our lives easier, entertaining us and making us smarter – all by creating these wonderful apps. The business models vary for all these developers and publishers – ranging from pure brand engagements based apps, paid apps (one time and subscription), in-app purchases and ad-supported apps. With hundreds of millions of Indians getting into the connected world via these app ecosystems on their affordable android smart phones, the advertising based model (i.e. based on in-application advertising) represents the largest opportunity in the Indian market for the next few years at least. Whether its messaging, ticketing, entertainment and gaming or shopping, in-application advertising is being integrated with these applications as consumers spend more and more of their time on their favorite accessory. All stats and data points put the In-app advertising market at well over 80% of total mobile advertising ad-spend and it’s the only thing that brands, advertisers and agencies are chasing today.
Traditionally mobile game apps have used in-app advertising very effectively. Providing basic features for free (read ad-supported) and then allowing users the option of in-app purchases for premium content has worked well in the aforementioned spaces. Free usage allows a large adoption, gets users hooked on products and the usual value exchange is the data (information) that the user passes to the publisher – basis which such user is targeted for relevant ads. Google (via Youtube & other products) & Facebook (and more recently Instagram) have built huge revenue models on this business model.
VOD Players eyeing a slice of the pie
1. The 4 pre-requisites to a successful in-app advertising model are
2. Large number of users (daily and monthly)
3. User data & info – that enables targeting
4. Very high engagement and time spent
And as a top-up – Exclusive IP or unique engagement model that allows brands to connect with the user base in a deeper way
The sceptics will say that the market is dominated by the top 2 global internet giants as of now and they have the benefit of the enormous data / information they have at their behest. That is true. But something changed a few months ago – with the launch of JIO and the changes that played out post that – India jumped from being 150th in broadband penetration (in early 2016) to no 1 mobile data user in the world!!! As per Industry reports, the monthly mobile data consumption on Jio’s network was 1 billion GB which is 1.5X of China or the same as US. And in the next two years it is expected to double to become 1.5X China and US put together as per some estimates and reports. And then there are the other telcos too, who will control the balance market.
The number one beneficiary (from this explosion) is going to be the Online Video business – which is expected to account for 50-60% share of this online data usage. And we are not even talking about fixed line high speed broadband in your houses, which will power your set top boxes, wifi routers and smart TVs. That’s another top up on this already humongous opportunity. And that is the reason why you see the explosion of the number of online video destinations in the last 12 months.
Now, the above will lead to growth in all kinds of video monetization – subscription, transaction, but most of all it will be advertising. And when it comes to Video – and engaging video that allows users to consume large volumes of content on their devices – the key is great content. And that is where the party is just beginning for content creators and premium IP owners.