The online advertisement industry is evolving rapidly in a bid to sustain its growth as more and more users shift to mobile devices. Opera‘s Sponsored Web Pass is a brilliant spin on this transition, offering you free mobile internet in return for watching ads.
The problem with ads on mobile devices is that they are annoying and users tend to ignore them completely or use ad blockers to keep them at bay. As a result, the ads industry is taking a hit. There’s a dire need right now for an alternate model which could be used to find the right way of pushing out ads on mobile devices.
And while we are far from the perfect solution, Opera’s Sponsored Web Pass gives a glimpse of what it may look like. It is essentially a result of collaboration between operators and advertisers. Here’s how this works: you avail an offer from within the Opera browser. The offer may constitute watching a video ad and getting an hour of free mobile internet, or clicking an ad and redeeming an hour of Twitter usage, or any other similar offer. Once you have completed the task, you get the freebie.
Once the freebie expires, you are asked to either avail a permanent internet package by shelling out money, or watch more ads to avail other ways of free mobile internet. Since the service is particularly geared at pay-as-you-go users, it may turn out to be immensely popular in emerging markets. With its user base of 350 million users, Opera is a good enough point to start testing this model.
If it turns out to be successful, we can rest assured that advertisers may start pairing their ads with other, similar offers in order to get more eyeballs in the mobile arena. Opera’s Sponsored Web Pass is currently open to operators, although the users will have to wait until the public rollout to avail it.