Before Netflix or any kind of streaming service was a thing, TV was free. Well, not entirely free – you still had to buy an actual TV set, but all the channels on it were free before cable TV and Netflix was a thing. This was possible because of ads – you get to watch interesting shows relevant to your interest for free, and in return you had to sit through advertisements that generated revenue for the station.
That ad-driven mindset is the very foundation of the Android ecosystem. Google pushes out yearly versions of its mobile OS (and attached services) to make it easier to deliver targeted ads straight to you. In fact almost every breakthrough app nowadays rely on that principle to make money – Facebook, Twitter, Google – ads are their lifeblood, their very reason of existing.
It’s not surprising then that phone brands and manufacturers have turned to ads as an alternate revenue stream. Local brand MyPhone is also turning to ads to generate more income via their new Agila app.
Agila, in a nutshell, is an ad delivery service that allows users to win freebies and swag from advertisers. The app delivers ads through the lockscreen, and users who swipe left gain points for viewing the ads.
Delivering apps through the lockscreen isn’t a new concept – Amazon started offering cheaper prices for some of the Android phones they sold for the ability to show ads on the lockscreen. Those phones were cheaper by around $50, or around Php 2.4K, which is a substantial amount if applied to the Philippines.
Right now the main incentive for people to try out MyPhone’s Agila app is to win freebies from MyPhone, like free phones. But according to Kevin Micheal Tan, the Executive Vice President of MyPhone, this is just the beginning. If the service picks up, there’s a big possibility that future MyPhone devices will be significantly cheaper than the ones offered by the competition.
Obviously there’s still a lot of work to be done. Convincing brands and advertisers to use Agila is the biggest hurdle for MyPhone. MyPhone is beginning to build Agila’s install base by putting it in the phones that they sell, but the real challenge is convincing users that running ads on their lockscreen in exchange for the chance to win a phone (or two) is worth it.