Optus to gift customers free data in advertising swap

Nicola Riches
By Nicola Riches | 29 November 2016

Optus is to boost its prepaid customer's data in return for accepting adverts which appear on their locked screens.

Branded Optus Xtra, and run in partnership with New Zealand-based startup Postr, Optus customers will be offered an extra 1GB of data, or the addition of $2 extra credit on their 28-day plans. 

"Prepaid customers have told us they want to boost their data," says Optus director of product innovation and value added products, Megan Forster, "but are also budget conscious. By giving customers the option to earn extra data through watching ads, Optus is enabling them to enjoy more of what they love, without spending an extra cent."

Customers on eligible mobile plans also have the option to stream music on Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify apps without using their plan’s data.

Advertising opportunities on Optus Xtra are managed exclusively by Singtel-owned digital marketing technology company Amobee. It's thought that one of the investors in Postr is from Singtel.  

Optus Xtra is powered by Postr, which developed a technical platform for lock screen advertising under a partnership model with mobile network operators in NZ and South-East Asia.

Postr CEO and founder Milan Reinartz says: “We're delighted to be able to partner with Optus in the Australian market. Their understanding of their users' behaviour and their nimble-but-thorough approach to design and testing has resulted in an end product that we are all excited to be able to offer to users and advertisers in Australia."

How does Optus Xtra work?

Optus Xtra displays static ads on the locked screen of a customer’s mobile phone and users may be presented with an option to view a video version of the ad, or visit the brand’s website.

Customers can unlock their phone in the usual manner when an ad is displayed on the lock screen.

Users can customise the ads they receive by nominating their interests across eight categories: beauty, employment, fashion, government and politics, health, money, technology and travel.

The Optus Xtra app is free and can be downloaded from the Google Play store.

Other market players

Optus and Postr is the latest locked screen venture, following on from founding of Australia-based startup Unlockd in 2014. 

AdNews understands that Unlockd met with Optus last year when it was looking to on-board telcos. The business, co-founded by Matt Berriman, raised $15m in funding in 2015 and is now looking to raise a further $30m as it eyes further overseas expansion.

The company most recently did a deal with Tesco Mobile in the UK, which is called 'Tesco Mobile Xtras'.

Local backers of the business include Peter Gammell, former MD and CEO Seven Group Holdings; Matt Rockman of Seek.com; Andrew Walsh of Hitwise; Catch of the Day Group's Gabby and Hezi Leibovich; Sam Mostyn, a board member with the Virgin Australia & AFL Commission; Margaret Jackson, chair of Spotless.

Email Nicola at nicolariches@yaffa.com.au.

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