Mobile Users Will Accept Ads

    May 31, 2007

Mobile audio listeners will accept and listen to ads in exchange for free content, according to the Arbitron/Telephia "Mobile Audio Media Study".

Close to 90 percent of listeners of FM radio broadcasts on mobile handsets said they would welcome advertising if they could receive free content.

The responses ran contrary to the idea that consumers will not accept advertising to receive free content. This could be because music lends itself to both mobile retail and ad supported business model.

Marketers are using mobile handsets in their campaigns, making mobile audio sponsorship a normal next step.

For example, live events can be announced on short notice over mobile to grab an audience’s attention and increase download sales. Other potential mobile strategies for carriers are to sponsor a platform for unsigned bands and have them submit their material to the mobile audience and have it rated.

Mobile music sponsorship also fits with the music industry’s desire for alternative revenues.

eMarketer Senior Analyst John du Pre Gauntt says, "The maturing of the ringtone market and a surprising level of receptivity to ad-supported content make it difficult to declare the precise direction of North America’s mobile music market."

"One thing is clear: Both mobile operators and music labels have some heavy lifting to do to get more US mobile users who have music-capable handsets to actually listen to music in the way that labels and operators want."