Friday, August 24, 2007

Mobile game providers chase big ad money

BANGALORE: Mobile games could soon have advertisers come on board. Cellebrum, the VAS arm of Delhi based M-Corp, plans to launch a mobile game which will give users an opportunity to win and advertisers a space to feature their products. The game is called ‘Fastest fingers first’ and is likely to hit the markets by the end of this month.
“Users have to type out a tagline of a company. Advertisers and service providers have shown great enthusiasm for this product. Many advertisers are keen to tie-up for this mobile game,” explains M-Corp Global president, sales and marketing, Paul Shoker. “Also for this text-based gaming no internet connectivity is required,” he adds.
Mobile advertising is catching up with most VAS players who are introducing new products to woo advertisers to get onboard. Worldwide, the mobile advertising market is worth $10 billion. “Games will be an important part of this. Nearly 20-60 developers are designing games. By 2010, it is expected that 30% of the advertising will be on the mobile and internet,” says Qualcomm India and SAARC manager, mobile content and applications, Rakesh Godhwani.
“It is fascinating to see the convergence of the television, mobiles and laptop screens. Whenever there has been a convergence of two screens, it has brought in huge revenues. Look at programmes like Indian Idol and Kaun Banega Crorepati that have received over 50 million SMSes,” adds Mr Godhwani.
However, while VAS players are looking at launching new products, service providers are wary of introducing advertisers into this fold. “It could be seen as intrusion—just like telemarketing calls and SMSes on service offers,” says Airtel Karnataka chief executive officer V Venkatesh. “Also, the mobile gaming market is really small in the country and we have to see how this market progresses. However, under circumstances that permission is allowed it could be an interesting model,” he adds. It’s not an easy choice but provided the money that advertisers can bring in, most operators will be game to the idea.
By: Sushmita Mohapatra; Source: The Economic Times