Free Mobile Content, subsidized by targeted advertising, served from a portal with social networking features. The newly launched mobile content portal Hovr.com is truly a service that’s “Sign o Times”, with a new age business model to match.
Headquartered in the US, and having its operations in India also, the portal is promoted by Industry Veterans including President Vipul Sawhney, VP Business Development Deepak Gupta, Chief Technical Architect Anuj Jain, VP Product Management Shailan Mohan amongst others.
Speaking to AnimationXpress.com Vipul Sawhney shared, “Advertisers are looking for new ways to get important product and brand information in front of targeted audiences. At the same time, consumers want a way to get mobile content without having to pay before trying it. Hovrâ€?s technology lets the needs and desires of these two groups form a perfect marriage inside the Hovr community”
From the consumer point of view players simply have to register for free and they then have access to all the games as well as other features like the access to create a personal games profile, build an avatar, track their gaming stats and play and compete against their friends and other gamers from around the world.
So what is the business model and how does it actually work?
Users view a quick commercial before the game begins, and may see product placements embedded within the game. The advertising revenue is shared between the portal and the mobile game publishers.
The AdLogic technology that Hovr has developed ensures that advertisers are able to target their ads based on a growing number of demographic variables including geography, gender, day/time, carrier, handset, user interests, user behavior, game, genres, among others. As users play more games and interact more on the MobileSpace community, Hovr passively gains more information that can help make ads more relevant to the user playing the game.
“Highly targeted advertising is only pennies per impression with CPM (cost per 1000 ad impressions) rates in Hovrâ€?s mobile games typically between $30-$50” shared Sawhney.
“It all began when we tried to address the issue of how paying for games was a barrier to mobile gaming adoption, and therefore many consumers who wanted to play mobile games were not playing” he pointed out adding, “We realized there was a market opportunity to apply a proven ad-supported content model (e.g. television or email) which would not only benefit users, but create a new advertising marketplace and new, increased revenue opportunities for mobile game producers”
“We have begun service with more than 100 titles from over a dozen mobile game publishers including Kiloo and Ozura, all subsidized via advertising and available to users at no cost” shared Shailan Mohan, Vice President Product Management for Hovrâ€?s Indian operations.
In addition to downloading free games users can join Hovr MobileSpace, a social network in which players interact and compete against each other in a compelling community experience. Currently the games that are available on the portal can be played on over 1000 different mobile phones and the company keeps adding phones as they appear in the market.
On being asked about the perspective on the Indian market, Sawhney replied “India, having one of the fastest growing mobile subscriber numbers in the world, is a very attractive marketplace for Hovr. For price conscious consumers, Hovrâ€?s Ad-Supported mobile content enables the mass adoption of mobile phones as a content delivery platform. Hovr also enables Indian advertisers to reach users in one of the most pervasive and interactive mediums in the world, the mobile phone”
Hovr has four main distribution channels for users to download their ad-supported mobile games: Hovrâ€?s website and mobile WAP portal; wireless carriers; third-party distribution partners; and mobile content aggregators. The company will soon be announcing specific partners for all of these channels.