Business Today

M-ads are coming of age

It may be irritating for many consumers, but even as many of us frown when we receive SMS ads on our phones, advertisers say there is great potential in this new medium. Mobile advertising or Mads is the new buzzword in the Indian marketing sphere.

Amit Mukherjee        Print Edition: December 16, 2007

It may be irritating for many consumers, but even as many of us frown when we receive SMS ads on our phones, advertisers say there is great potential in this new medium. Mobile advertising or Mads is the new buzzword in the Indian marketing sphere.

Key advantages

  • Advertisers can design ads for specific target groups
  • Visibility and cost effective rates for advertisers
  • Additional revenue stream for operators
  • Unmatched level of intimacy with customers in comparison to other mediums
With the handheld device becoming an indispensable companion of millions of Indians, market players are designing campaigns aimed at specific sets of users. The M-ad segment includes campaigns like banners and contextual advertising on mobile internet or WAP, using video games to advertise a product, polling, contests, etc.

The market is already worth around Rs 50 crore and has the potential to grow at 200 per cent a year. The global M-advert industry is expected to reach $11 billion (Rs 44,000 crore) by 2009, and India is likely to account for 1 per cent of this. Of course, the availability of high-end handsets supporting GPRS will help mobile advertising to grow faster.

Currently, there are an estimated 15 million GPRS-enabled handsets in India. Even if it grows at 25 per cent every year, WAP advertising will see a spurt. In view of this, players like the US-based mobile advertising network AdMob are tying up with Indian firms to draw advertisers onto WAP-based sites.

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