Mobile Advertising

Recently, a journalist emailed me some questions to answer on mobile advertising. I responded in some detail.

Q1. What do you see as the main issues and opportunities with regard to mobile advertising in India?


  • Early days of mobile ads means concept selling and experimental budgets
  • Mobile also competing with 3 other emerging media (OOH, FM and Internet)
  • Mobile Advertising cannot build its future around spam


  • Numbers (nearly 300 million phones)
  • Usage (device with us all the time)
  • Ideal platform for targeting Youth

Q2. To what extent are mobile operators in India taking advantage of mobile advertising as a revenue stream? Can you give some figures?

It is just starting. Mobile ad spend is estimated to be currently be at about Rs 25-30 crore with a significant portion of that being spam.

Q3. To what extent are advertising agencies taking advantage of the mobile advertising format?

Operator portal and SMS Advertising are starting to happen. The next 12 months are about experimental budgets. Netcore’s MyToday has seen over100 brands use the platform, with over 30% of them repeating campaigns.

Q4. To what extent are media planners taking advantage of the mobile route?

Most of our campaigns have been directly from clients / businesses. Agencies and media planners are still taking time to understand the potential.

Q5.It is said that the mobile ecosystem has four stakeholders – advertisers, publishers, carriers and subscribers? How can they all benefit through mobile ads? Your comments please.

Mobile advertising in India can be bigger than Internet advertising in the next 3-4 years. As such, everyone benefits. The key lies in publishers creating ‘media on mobile’ – based on SMS and permission from the subscribers. This is what will create the value for advertisers. A survey done by MyToday showed 75% of all subscribers ready every SMS. Also, 40% of the base saw ads, with 30% responding to them – meaning that 12% of the base has responded to ads. These are excellent numbers.

Q6. What is your take on opt-in advertising?

It is the future. We term it as “Invertising” – invited advertising. So far, advertising has focused on customer acquisition and branding. We think the blue ocean lies in enabling brands and businesses to build relationships with consumers on the mobile. This opportunity can be 10X the mobile advertising opportunity in the next 3-4 years.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.