Tata Docomo’s Free Mins For Viewing Mobile Ads: A Game Changer?


Advertising is probably the biggest source of revenue in the world. One of the largest internet companies in the world, Google is, what it is, only on their advertising revenues. Besides that, we have the whole television industry that is running on advertisements. From TV to sports, everything has a source of revenue in advertisement.

With the advent of mobiles, another source of ad revenue was created for companies. According to Mobile Market Association, companies are warming to the idea of mobile ads and the mobile ads spend for 2013 is in fact around Rs. 300 crore. This is a huge jump from last year’s Rs. 180 crore. Even the projections were around Rs. 250 crore which makes this industry a very lucrative one. This growth is going to continue by the looks of it and in no way looks temporary with the projection for next year is around Rs. 430 crore.

Tata Teleservices have now come up with a plan to offer free minutes of talk time to its users for watching the ads before making the call. This service will be offered with the help of; you guessed it right- an app.

A mobile advertising app to be precise named ‘GET’. This app will be compatible with Android, Java, Symbian and Blackberry platforms. Also, it will be available for both GSM and CDMA. Tata Docomo users can download the app from the Android play store or the Nokia store.

Get Easy Talktime

The users will have to see an ad before making the call and each ad shown will give the user a free voice minute. The ad will not concur any data charges from the user and the users opting for the service won’t be charged for any data while using Tata Docomo Internet.

Also according to officials- “The mobile users are not offered any ads if they are trying to make emergency calls, given the nature of the call being made. Also no ads are offered while making calls to toll free numbers, international calls or while in roaming in off-network locations.”

This service has been launched in a partnership with mADcall Pvt. Ltd., a sister concern of Astute systems. Tata also has onboard a few companies to display their ad (their clients if I may say).

Now comes the biggest question- “Will people opt for it?”

As I see, it is apt for a particular demographic of school and college going students- the people who have the time to watch an ad and are short of money for the recharge.

I can see a lot of students sitting in a class, watching these ads and getting free minutes while the teacher is teaching. As for the people who earn well, this is simply an annoyance that they would rather avoid.

Another demographic might pop up that I don’t know. It will be very important how this offering is marketed as well. If not done properly, many people might not even know about this service.

Tata will have a field’s day trying to convince people to opt for it. The ads themselves can’t be more than 10 seconds or more. In my opinion, no person is going to watch a minute ad for a minute talk.

If successful, this will open a new stream of revenue for the operators. It goes without saying that other operators will jump on the boat as well if they find it successful. With the low call rates, companies need to be creative about their revenue; and data, services and ads perhaps are the perfect way to go.

Eventually data costs will slide as well so either the companies will have to increase the cost of the calls or look for other sources. Tata might have found a gold mine, here but it will all come down to execution in the end.

Tata Teleservices have around 60 million users so it’s safe to assume that ample amount of people might be lured to the call of umm… free calls.

What do you think? Will you watch a few ads to get some extra minutes?

  1. Balaji T A says

    In MTS, even in basic model handsets (Rs.800), this feature is available and i am using it for the past 6 months. Because of the handset speed, its bit complicated otherwise its ok. Am sure that this free mins for ad thing will become successful. Mark my words.. :)

  2. Paritosh Shah says

    Intersting .. with the trend of cheaper voice calls, prices have finally reached a level where this is actually possible.

    “each ad shown will give the user a free voice minute”. Assuming 1 INR per minute for voice, that comes out to about $15 CPM, which is about right for a video ad.

    Although i think voice is still not cheap enough for this to catch on. watching an ad for just one minute of talktime still feels like a deal only the very marginal user is going to make, not a majority.

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