Study: Aussies Say “Yes” To More Smartphone Ads If It Means Cheaper Telco Bills

Hand holding smartphone with media icons and symbol collection

According to a new study by Roy Morgan Research, Aussie smartphone users are up for the idea of seeing more ads if it means a reduction in their monthly bill.

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Three weeks ago, Optus unveiled its Xtra service which offered customers free data in exchange for watching adverts on their phone’s locked screen. The Optus Xtra service will give customers the option of either 2GB or $2 of credit per month on their plans.

According to the Roy Morgan study, 37 per cent of respondents agreed they’d be interested in receiving ads on their mobile phone if it reduced their bill. Interestingly, 39 per cent of Optus customers agreed they’d be keen on the idea.

When it came age brackets that said they’d be okay with the idea, the 14-24 years olds and the 35-49 bracket were most interested at 27 per cent.

Age Profile for (potential) Mobile Advertising Audience

 

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According to the study, the idea of ads on smartphones is ideal for users who are shying away from traditional media and advertising. The study found among smartphone owners receptive to mobile advertising, in the last week 56 per cent haven’t read a print newspaper and 44 per cent haven’t looked at a print catalogue. Some 31per cent haven’t even flipped through the latest issue of any magazine, and 24 per cent haven’t made a single trip to the cinema in the last year. On a normal weekday, 31 per cent don’t listen to commercial radio and 14 per cent don’t watch commercial television.

The Non-Reach of Traditional Media among (potential) Mobile Advertising Audience

 

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Those interested in signing up to receive mobile advertising are also much more likely to do the sorts of activities on their phones that appeal to advertisers.

In an average four weeks, they are almost twice as likely as other smartphone owners to click online ads, watch video advertising, or read an online catalogue. They are more likely to pay for purchases using a credit card or another online payment or money transfer system, or research products or services they want to buy, including reading ratings and reviews– and all on the very smartphone that could soon be set to receive mobile advertising.

Commenting on the study, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “There are 5.9 million smartphone owners across Australia potentially interested in seeing advertising in exchange for a mobile usage bonus – but it’s still early days for this new model.

“Right now there are 126,000 Australians who immediately meet all the criteria for Xtra: they’re with Optus, on a prepaid plan, use an Android operating system and, of course, are open to the idea. The question now is whether a gigabyte of data or $2 in credit is ‘worth it’ to have ads on the lock screen.

“Consumers today are more conscious than ever that they have a value to advertisers, and can make decisions about what advertising they see and hear based on it being a fair trade. Anticipating the trend, Roy Morgan has long measured mobile owners’ attitudes toward receiving ads on the phone in exchange for a reduced bill, as well as their shopping and product research habits on the device.

“Mobile advertising has the potential to reach the sort of younger and more tech-savvy audience that has become more difficult to reach through traditional media channels. However advertisers will need to understand that these people are also, by definition, a very particular type of consumer that gets excited by coupons and competitions, sales and bargains.

“And just like traditional media owners, Optus will need robust audience profiling and consumer segmentations to be able to pitch its new audience to advertiser clients, and provide them the tools to identify target markets and construct messages that maximise ROI,” she said.