Feature Article

January 29, 2016

Unlockd Lets Consumers Reduce Phone Bills by Viewing Ad Content

The continuous evolution of technology has changed the face of advertising, leading businesses to search for new channels and strategies that enable more effective interactions with customers. This in turn is driven by a greater ability to more acutely target audience segments and engage in fluid, bidirectional communications. Capitalizing on this trend, a new startup company called Unlockd has developed an innovative business model for implementing new advertising revenue streams into consumer cell phone contracts.

The Unlockd platform makes it possible for customers to receive a discount of $5 per month on their phone bills in exchange for viewing occasional advertising content when unlocking their smartphones. Customers are exposed to exclusive content and offers from businesses they’re interested in, demonstrating value beyond the discount that eschews traditional, untargeted advertising. If they’re not interested, customers can easily dismiss the ad and go on about their business.

The company partnered with Boost Mobile, a subsidiary of Sprint that specializes in prepaid phone contracts, to develop an app based on the platform called “Boost Dealz.” The app was launched in beta in Unlockd’s home country of Australia in October 2015, and will become available internationally within the next few months.

“Our U.S. launch exclusively with Sprint Telecom is a realization of our vision to forever change the way consumers pay for and use their mobile phones,” said Matt Berriman, CEO and Co-Founder of Unlockd. “To be the driver for collaboration and benefit for some of the world's biggest media companies, a tier-one telco and the end consumer is a huge coup and a move that will positively transform both the mobile advertising landscape and telco industry.”

It has been proven time and time again that innovative business models are a necessity in today’s saturated market to carve out new sources of revenue and build relationships between businesses and consumers that are more fruitful for all parties involved. Unlockd also forged partnerships with Yahoo to integrate its search engine into the app and with Twitter to further its mobile advertising capabilities via the MoPub ad-serving and supply-side platform. Furthermore, the company has apparently established partnerships with several other telcos around the world to bring its patented technology, programmatic capabilities and unique business model to fruition.

“Our group was particularly attracted to Unlockd because it is such a clever and simple innovation,” commented Jeff Emmanuel, former Vice Chairman of Citibank, the founder of PLC Venture Capital and a major investor in Unlockd. “It helps solve such a huge problem facing the global telecommunications industry, that of falling ARPU's (average revenue per user).”

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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