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The app that provides consumer credits for watching ads aims to launch across Asia

If you’re willing to watch some ads, you can get credits for everything from mobile phone data to a coffee at Starbucks

 

An app company that provides users with free credits for consumer items in exchange for enabling targeted ads on their mobile phones, at the moment they unlock the screen, has plans to expand across Asia – the chief operating officer at the firm has revealed.

Speaking to Mumbrella Asia at the Tech in Asia conference in Singapore this week, Aliza Knox of Unlockd said that the app had attracted one million users across four markets – including the United States and Britain – since its launch 15 months ago. India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore are next on the target list for launches within the next nine months.

“Watch this space, we are ambitious; we want to be in all markets and unlock all the screens in Asia,” said Knox.

The app rewards users for watching ads or curated content based on their preferences, location and time of day with credits rewarded in the form of mobile phone data, music streaming or loyalty points for brands. To date, the company claimed to have returned US$10m in credits to users – which amounts to an average of US$10 per user. It also provides the app as a white label products to other companies.

Aliza Knox has the whole of Asia in her sights

Knox, who is from San Francisco and previously worked for Google and Twitter in Asia, said the new model of advertising was gaining traction with some high-profile advertisers and ‘content partners’. They included Facebook, Uber, McDonald’s, Yahoo, Dentsu Aegis, British Airways and News UK.

Back in April 2016, TechCrunch reported that Unlockd had raised US$12 million in Series A funding. Other big-name backers include Lachlan Murdoch.

Users of the app can expect a US$500 million windfall by 2025, says Matt Berriman

In a statement on the company’s website, the CEO and co-founder Matt Berriman claimed that Unlockd aimed to return US$500m in credits to users of the app by 2025. He added: “Unlockd value means more fun money for families. More special treats for loved ones. More call credits or data to stay in touch with family and friends. More access to unique experiences and content that excite the senses.”

Speaking about the marketing approach taken by the firm, Knox said all channels were being pursued including earned media, with news stories already featured on Bloomberg and The Australian Financial Review.

“Your content has to be electrifying, irreverent and with a good narrative,” she said. “You need a community so that a tribe of people are talking about you. You need that virality and that conversation going on about your product.”

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