Thailand has over 90 million mobile subscriptions and yet, has a population of 66 million. As a consequence of the mobile penetration rate exceeding the population, companies across the world begin to consider the new and innovative prospect of trading advertisements in exchange for free minutes for the customer.
Partnering with Thai Telco AIS, Freebie offers free minutes on phone calls for users who opt in to listen to adverts. Customers can dial *115 to listen to a voice ad in exchange for two minutes of free calling. For the brands that take part, it is a chance to gain exposure that is specifically targeted at particular demographics.
Freebie is not the only service of this kind. There are developments across the world looking at similar methods, including replacing the ringing dial tone with an advert in exchange for up to 15 minutes of free air time. Korea-made AdLatte launched in Thailand last year, a service that gets people to watch ads on their mobile, who convert them into a variety of rewards.
Launched in October 2013, Freebie reached 200,000 subscribers in the first three months, with over 100,000 ad views daily by the end of last year. 15 to 20 brands are now participating, including those involved in banking and food and drink sales.