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The idle screen has been hitherto untapped: Rahul Jayawant, Eureka Mobile

The idle screen happens to be the starting and finishing point for almost all tasks associated with a smartphone; be it making a call, sending a message, checking notifications or downloading an image. Innovative players in the mobile advertising industry are realising that the the idle screen need not be static, but can promote interactivity and can also be monetised. One such player in the idle screen monetisation industry is Eureka Mobile Advertising.
The app developed by this company promotes mobile advertising by aiding marketers monetise the idle screen of the mobile screen to deliver full screen, non-intrusive, relevant and useful image advertisements to its opt-in subscribers. The app has already crossed 1,10,000 downloads with a growth rate of 2000 a day. It plans to take mobile advertising to another level as it offers gratification to the customer such as free talk time and discounts to customers viewing an ad on mobile. Digital Market Asia catches up with Rahul Jayawant, CEO & Founder, Eureka Mobile Advertising to put forward the nuances associated with this technology
Active idle screen monetisation is being pegged as the future of mobile advertising. What can you say to support this statement?
Most definitely, this statement is true. The idle screen has been hitherto untapped. In terms of measurement, the traditional mobile advertisements serve a lot of blanket ads that do not capture many eyeballs. Also, it becomes tough to measure the outreach. When you use an idle screen for monetisation, the user has to view the ad, no matter what. This service is typically non-intrusive, unlike regular mobile ads, as it is an opt-in service. Besides, as smartphones are changing in design and moving towards larger screens phones, the size lends itself naturally to idle screen monetisation. So visually also, it is a lot more appealing. As the service grows, and as more mobile subscriber data is available, the idea is to use location based advertising to present local deals, more relevant content, and marketing promotions that are customised for the subscriber.
How challenging is the implementation of this concept? How forthcoming is the industry to embrace this concept?
Considering the pioneering nature of our offering, there are no benchmarks for the marketers to compare with. We thus went through an elaborate exercise to explain the value proposition to the leadership across the agencies, the CMO community and the business leadership. And now some of the largest agencies – both media and creative, are appreciating the unique value and return on investment (RoI) that we are able to provide. Many clients are now creating content that is unique to the mobile advertising industry and that could enhance the user experience and create a new genre in mobile advertising.
We launched the app as a pilot project in India in April 2013. For the first 3 months, mobile service provider Idea was our exclusive partner. Post that, we have been operator-agnostic, but are happy to explore possibilities with interested network operators.

What are the innovative interactive opportunities you are offering brands via this platform? How are you utilising user interaction paradigms? (For instance, 4-way navigation, gesture based navigation, tilt screen)
The platform technology is ever-evolving. Our aim is to make innovation in technology the main driver towards subscriber ‘engagement’ and not the other way around. As an example, we have been serving only jpeg images but our action bar for the ads provides a lot more interaction. And with a new release lined up, powered with HTML 5 and Timed ads, the possibilities multiple manifold. This will be launched at the forthcoming Mood Indigo festival, the cultural festival of Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay. However, the key differentiator is the unique way in which we serve these ads.
Who are your top advertisers?
We have had a few leading global brands use the Eureka Platform including Coke, Dominos, Quickr, OLX and Kotak Bank. Many leading brands across the spectrum have lined up to reach out on the Eureka Platform focused on the young and upward mobile. We also have consumer facing brands and enterprise clients which use Eureka for internal broadcasts.
What revenue model will suit for this concept? The traditional per-unit royalties or monetisation through per-active-user or per inventory (primarily CPA or time-based)?
We are exploring couple of revenue models here. The focus will be on providing value based pricing to customers rather than a metric-based pricing. Since this is the first of its kind in the world the usual benchmarks and models might prove to be outdated.
What can you speak about your growth rate globally? Where do you see Eureka five years from today?
The journey till now has exceeded expectations. The biggest testimony of this fact is that the Click Through Ratio (CTR) globally is 1 per cent but in case of Eureka the early reports from our analytic team have been very interesting at an average of 22 per cent with the highest being 44 per cent and the lowest standing at 10 per cent. Since its launch, we have had 1,60,000 downloads, with a download rate of 1500-2000 subscribers per day. It is listed as one of the top 5 apps in the Lifestyle section. The customer engagement ratio has been over 41 per cent. A big booster is the fact that as the number of installs that go up on the play store, our user rating has kept improving – it’s at 4.3 right now which is clearly puts us at the top end of the customer satisfaction spectrum. This is testimony to the fact that users are liking it.

And finally, the most important question: What steps are you taking to maintain the thin line between mobile advertising and intrusive communication?
They USP of Eureka is that it caters to opt-in subscribers who voluntarily want to view the content provided in form of unique deals and offers, unlike intrusive pop-up advertising. Also, it is the first company in the world to actually reward subscribers for viewing ads. We believe that this is a unique concept that will prove to be a game changer in the mobile advertising industry and could define future trends in the sector. It is a win-win situation across the digital supply chain including the advertiser, the agency, ad serving platforms, the network operator and the subscriber. Success in this space will be determined by delighting the subscriber with a non-intrusive, seamless experience which rewards them with relevant content when and where they need it. Similarly, the marketer would be willing to pay substantial premiums, provided they are able to reach their target group and get useful analytics for a better RoI. The combination of monthly rewards, combine with the quirky content and the deals/offers we offer to customers helps us maintain a perfect balance between sponsored content and house content.