VIENNA, Austria, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- Austrian start-up rewrites the rulebook for smartphone advertising with "billboard ads on mobiles"
- In a first for the industry, consumers actively decide to view advertisements - and get paid in the process
- Launch in Austria in May 2013, other European countries to follow later in the year; launch in USA scheduled for start of 2014
Vienna start-up abalo Media has developed a new mobile advertising concept. abalo is set to revolutionise the humdrum world of smartphone advertising when it is launched in Austria at the beginning of May, with 125,000 users expected to sign up for the service by the end of 2013. Following launches in Austria and Germany, abalo will become available in other European countries later in 2013, and will expand to the USA at the beginning of 2014. abalo was unveiled for the first time at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
Smartphone advertising comes of age
Smartphone advertising is still in its infancy. The industry has been feverishly searching for the next big idea in what is expected to become a multi-billion dollar business. Thanks to the simple concept behind abalo, the search is now over: abalo displays ads on the phone's lock screen - which the average smartphone user checks 35 times a day. The phone's functionality is not affected at all. Users receive cash payments in return for viewing advertisements tailored to their interests, making them active consumers. A smartphone running Android 2.2 or higher is required.
Display ads on mobiles
"We are bringing improved, interactive billboard advertising to mobile phones," explained Michael Mass, co-founder and Joint Managing Director of abalo Media. "It couldn't be simpler: wake up the screen, view the advertisement, and unlock the phone. Consumers get to view advertisements that actually interest them, and receive cash payments directly to their bank account in return - in a sense, they rent out the lock screen as advertising space. Advertisers can tailor advertising precisely to their target group, to a level that has not previously been possible." Users in Austria receive payments of up to EUR 15 a month, meaning that many private individuals could cover their monthly mobile phone bill by using abalo.
New levels of consumer interaction
Until now, mobile advertising has required consumers to use apps or browsers, or read text messages. As highlighted by a recent study (University of Vienna/University of Bamberg, 2013), consumers are irritated by these forms of smartphone advertising. 64.8% of people surveyed for the study are not interested in ads on websites when they surf the internet on their phones, and 76.5% are bothered by promotional text messages. For advertisers, too, conventional mobile advertising is not particularly attractive, since it cannot be targeted or analysed effectively.
In contrast, abalo displays high-quality full-screen advertisements on the lock screen. Users make a positive decision to view the ads when they register for the service, submitting demographic information and specifying their interests so that advertising can be tailored to them. abalo also delivers time- and location-specific advertising, and opens up new ways of interacting with consumers - even prompting them to make purchases when they are in front of the right store. For example, an abalo user who has selected "fashion" as one of their interests can be surprised by an attractive offer or voucher when they pass by a fashion chain branch.
Austria is ideal test market
According to eMarketer online advertising revenue amounted to USD 8.41 billion worldwide in 2012, double the figure for 2011. Research firm eMarketer believes the sector will grow to USD 37 billion by 2016. In Austria, the size of the online advertising market is about EUR 110 million - this is expected to quadruple to EUR 440 million in 2015(Focus Research).
The number of smartphone users worldwide rose to around 1.1 billion in 2012, and a recent study states that this number is set to triple to reach 3.3 billion in 2018 (Ericsson Mobility Report). The Android operating system has a global market share of 70%, according to Gartner. With mobile phone penetration of 156% and smartphones representing 69% of mobile phones in use, Austria is an ideal test market for abalo (RTR Telekom Monitor 3/2012; Mobile Communications Report 2012).
abalo Media is preparing to launch the service in Germany in the second quarter of 2013 and in other European countries later in the year. And abalo will be available in the USA from the start of 2014.
About abalo Media
abalo Media is a digital media start-up based in Vienna, founded at the beginning of 2012 by three IT and advertising entrepreneurs. Frankfurt Stock Exchange listed Deutsche Balaton AG became a financial investor in the company in November 2012. abalo Media develops new, innovative mobile advertising concepts and currently has about 30 employees.
abalo Media GmbH
Hietzinger Kai 13/7, 1130 Vienna, Austria
SOURCE abalo Media GmbH