What Is Mobile TV Advertising?

Alex Newth

Mobile TV advertising is an advertising genre in which commercials and advertisements are aired on mobile phones being used to watch TV shows. These ads can be personalized for the user, because most mobile TV applications will ask for the user’s age and gender, which businesses use to target the consumer. Another advantage of mobile TV advertising is that it presents unique opt-in opportunities that regular TV ads cannot supply, because of a lack of interactivity. Most mobile TV commercials are pre-roll commercials and have a maximum length of 30 seconds. Unlike TV advertisements, where a business pays even if no one watches the commercial, businesses are only charged in mobile TV advertising if the user watches 90 percent of the commercial.

Mobile TV advertising may be displayed on a tablet computer.
Mobile TV advertising may be displayed on a tablet computer.

With mobile TV advertising, businesses can easily target consumers, because most applications ask for the user’s age and gender. For example, if the user is 10, then he or she will likely be shown commercials for toys and video games, while 20-year-olds will more likely get commercials for credit cards and colleges. Businesses prefer to target consumers, because showing a credit card or workout equipment commercial to a 10-year-old will not be as effective as showing the same commercial to an older audience, and targeting allows the business to spend less advertising money.

Along with targeted ads, mobile TV advertising presents unique opt-in opportunities through which the business can further target consumers. For example, if a TV commercial is for a tool, then the business has no idea if people are interested in the tool or if they want more information. With mobile TV, the user can click a section and opt-in for emails, discounts and more information about the tool, increasing selling potential and giving the business more detail about the effectiveness of the ad.

Most mobile TV advertising consists of pre-roll commercials. A pre-roll commercial is then commercial that runs after someone clicks on a link for a show but before the show runs. This means there are less commercials overall, and they will appear before the show starts. Most phone providers specify that the commercial can only be 30 seconds or less to keep consumers from becoming irritated.

In TV advertising, the business has to pay for a commercial to run, even if no one watches the commercial. With mobile TV advertising, the business only plays if 90 percent if the commercial is watched. If the user elects to skip the commercial — if such an option is available — or if he or she turns off the mobile TV application before the 90 percent mark, then the business will not be charged.

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