Majority of Mobile Users Would View Ads to Get Bill Discount

November 19, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Financial Services | Personalization | Privacy & Security | Technology

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of mobile users say they would be willing to view advertising on their mobile phone in return for a discount on their monthly bill, according to a survey commissioned by Transverse and conducted by iGR.


A 50% bill reduction is the most popular discount amount mobile customers desire. Specifically, 19% of mobile users who say they would view ads for a discount would settle for a bill reduction of up to 25%, while 36% would like a 50% discount and 7% would view ads for a 75% break. Another 14% say they will only view ads if their cell phone bill is completely free.


In terms of other incentives for mobile users who would accept them in exchange for ad viewing, a smaller number (12%) of respondents said they would accept services worth a portion of their monthly bill.

More than one-third of respondents say they would not be willing to view mobile ads at all, regardless of incentives offered.

Other survey findings:

  • Regardless of incentive, the majority of respondents who would accept one (71%) say they would view up to five ads per day.
  • Mobile users under age 35 were most receptive to advertisements on their mobile device in exchange for discounts on their monthly service bill.
  • 46% of those surveyed said that a 25-50% discount on their monthly bill would be enough of an incentive to provide access to their usage patterns – including browsing, email and texting habits and locatio – but not personal information such as the content of texts and emails.
  • Younger users age 8-25, who are more apt to text, are among the most willing to let mobile companies track and release the number of text messages they send/receive in exchange for ad viewing.
  • Those age 26-44, who are more apt to talk, are most willing to allow mobile operators to document and disperse details about their voice usage in exchange for discounted services.

“Mobile advertising has taken on many forms, and is generally considered to be intrusive,” said Iain Gillott, president of iGR. “But when consumers are given the choice to receive ads and share their usage patterns in exchange for discounts, mobile advertising has the potential to be highly targeted and highly effective.”

“With today’s economy, consumers are actively looking for ways to cut back their monthly expenses,” said Jim Messer, president and CEO of Transverse. “When a carrier is able to open up their customer base to create better value relationships among users, brands, merchants and the media companies, consumers will see a significant reduction on their monthly bill, advertisers will have a highly targeted avenue to reach their audience, and wireless service providers will see new revenue streams to improve their bottom lines.”

About the survey: The survey was undertaken to gauge mobile users’ willingness to view advertisements in exchange for discounts to their monthly service bill. iGR conducted interviews with 810 wireless subscribers age 18-65.

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