Two recommendations that we had discussed in an earlier post on the company are being realised by Affle this year – the first of not remaining an Airtel-only application and the second of introducing local language SMS capability. Affle has just announced plans to develop a rural version of SMS 2.0 that will support ads in Hindi, Marathi and other local languages. It will be launched later this year.
Decreasing ARPUs have led operators to seek new solutions to drive VAS revenues up. Anuj Khanna, CEO, Affle, has told Exchange4Media that by the end of 2009, he expects SMS 2.0 will be used by all Indian mobile operators. Affle claims to have completed 1 billion mobile media impressions in 2008 and is expanding its operations in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Affle’s competition in the mobile advertising arena includes Webaroo’s SMSGupShup v.2, Netcore’s SMS MyToday, Vakow, and mGinger. Each have their own unique way of obtaining ads over the mobile medium. When a subscriber downloads SMS 2.0, the mobile’s existing SMS system is replaced with a new one which allows users to include colours, emoticons, icons in their text messages. SMSs are sent with ads placed at the bottom of the message box. mGinger entices users to be paid to receive ads in their sms inbox, as well as get free mobile games, get local deals and discounts. SMSGupShup offers a social networking option where a user can send SMSs or micro-blogs to an entire group for the price of one SMS, which is also Vakow’s model. SMS MyToday Dailies bundles news updates with ads.
— NDTV Convergence Outsources Mobile Ad Sales To Affle For A Minimum Guarantee For 2 Years
— SMS 2.0 Integrates Search From Google, MSN, AskLaila And Others; The Opportunity For Affle
— Airtel Blocks MyToday Longcode; This Time, It’s The Do Not Call Registry
— @MoMo Delhi: Airtel WAP Banner @ Rs. 5 Lakh/Day; Affle & NDTV Active Not Taking CPL
— How SMSGupShup Is Monetizing: Content Store, Premium Groups, Paid SMS
(Update: Replaced ” has outsourced its mobile advertising sales ” the SMS 2.0 deal)