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UCWeb launches its mobile marketing platform UC Ads in India

Alibaba Group-owned mobile business platform UCWeb has launched its mobile marketing platform UC Ads in India, reports PTI. Businesses will now be able to utilise UC Ads’ content marketing solutions to reach users across platforms such as UC Browser, UC News and 9Apps.

To begin with, UC Ads will focus on businesses in domains such as e-commerce, online travel agent (OTA), education, automobile, entertainment, consumer electronics, and IT, as well as smaller businesses, according to the report. It also mentions that in India, UC Ads has already piloted its mobile marketing solutions with companies like Vivo, Myntra and OnePlus. Interestingly, UC Ads’ LinkedIn page says that Flipkart is also one of its clients.

It’s worth noting that the UC Browser comes pre-loaded with an ad blocker, which is one of its primary USPs. In a recent interview to Campaign India, Alibaba Mobile Business Group’s GM for overseas business, Kenny Ye said that the launch of UC Ads will not affect the functionality of the ad blocker in any way, and that the user will still retain the option of keeping the ad blocker on or off. Ye also mentioned that UC Ads will follow the ‘one ad per view’ policy, which is something Facebook does too. From the user’s perspective, he also candidly admitted that as of now UC Ads can’t do anything about re-targeted ads that travel portals are prone to pushing, because the ad platform isn’t privy to whether the user went ahead with a particular booking on the travel portal or not.

UCWeb also runs the mobile traffic and monetization platform UC Union, which counts Flipkart, Quikr, and Paytm among several others as partners.

Ad Types & Pricing

While we don’t yet know the ad types and pricing for UC Ads, Bangalore-based online marketing services provider, The Media Ant provides details regarding the different types of ads and the corresponding pricing for advertising in the UC Browser app in India.

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  • Pre Roll Video ad – Tablet (Rs 2 per view)
  • Pre Roll Video ad – Smartphone (Rs 1.20 per view)
  • Interstitial Banner – Run on site – Tablet (Rs 240 per thousand impressions)
  • Native Banner & Text – Run on site – Tablet (Rs 396 per thousand impressions)
  • Banner – Run on site – Tablet (Rs 200 per thousand impressions)
  • Banner – Run on site – Smartphone (Rs 120 per thousand impressions)
  • Interstitial Banner (Rs 160 per thousand impressions)
  • Native Banner & Text (Rs 185 per thousand impressions)

– Pre Roll Video ads are, as the name suggests, displayed before the start of a video.

– Interstitial ads are full screen ads that are displayed while user changes from one content page to another.

– Native ads are embedded within the publisher’s content.

UCWeb India investment

At the start of this year, in January, Alibaba said that it will invest Rs 200 crore over the next 2 years into UCWeb’s India and Indonesia operations. The funds were primarily to be used to support UC News features, which includes news aggregation as well the blogging platform integrated within UC News. This was UCWeb’s second investment into the country, after it earlier invested a part of $170 million in 2013 for global expansion in countries, including India.

This development happened days after UC News announced that it would start compensating top bloggers, writers and self-publishers on its blogging platform called UC WE-Media.

Damon Xi’s promotion: In June, the company promoted Damon Xi as the head of UCWeb for India and Indonesia. Xi was made responsible for the UCWeb ecosystem and content co-operation. He had been appointed the general manager of UCWeb India, in December last year, and was overseeing business development.

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