Altice has launched Free Net & More, a new mobile advertising format that allows advertisers to take advantage of a device’s lock screen. Users unlock their smartphones on average more than 100 times a day, which creates the opportunity to show 100 daily announcements per user. Taking advantage of this potential, the Free Net & More app, developed by New Zealand start-up Postr, has launched in the Portuguese market with Altice, under its brands Meo and Moche. Available for Android smartphones, the app allows customers to view advertisements on their screens and, in return, receive up to 250 MB free every 30 days.
As we have reported on several occasions recently, mobile advertising represents a major and fast-growing source of revenue for mobile operators—not to mention for the companies that are advertising and those that furnish the technology for it. Postr’s Free Net & More app, being implemented in Portugal by Altice, is a new and evidently more invasive approach. As such, it has the potential to command more attention from users than other formats, and therefore could drive more revenue to Altice.
However, it could very well prove to be invasive enough—due to the ubiquity of the home screen and the number of times it is accessed each day—to annoy users and create at least some amount of resentment. The offer of 250 MB of bonus data in return for using the app is clearly intended as fair compensation, but we suspect that 250 MB may be too small an amount of data for today’s data-hungry consumers to achieve the desired effect. And the very idea of being asked to turn one’s device—a very personal aspect of life for most users—into a near-constant source of advertising messages may be offensive to many, to the point of causing harm to Altice’s brands in Portugal.