Screen Zero: This precious ad space is now up for grabs


Consider the reach of a YouTube masthead ad. Assume the ad is displayed on a mobile phone user’s lock screen. The user does not need to unlock the phone, swipe away any alerts, go to the app drawer, scroll all the way down to Y to locate YouTube, press on it, and then view a brand’s advertisement. Instead, the user only needs to lift their phone to see an ad. There were no clicks. 

Glance, a lock screen platform, is making this case to companies. There is no friction and the advertising is completely immersed. Glance has about 180 million active users in India and is pre-installed on smartphones from Xiaomi, POCO, Motorola, Samsung, Oppo, Realme, and Vivo.

Glance, a subsidiary of ad-tech business InMobi, will become a unicorn in December 2020. It is scheduled to launch in the United States and Latin America before the end of this year. Currently, the platform is available in India and Indonesia. 

With the debut of the US and Latin America, the business wants to reach a billion users over the next two to three years. In the United States, Glance will not feature adverts on the lock screen. “Our commitment to customers is that you will never pick up your phone to see an ad on the lock screen itself,” the firm stated in a statement.

Glance’s growth is based solely on the fact that it will be pre-installed on Android devices. Glance’s masterstroke, according to industry officials. This implies that Glance won’t have to spend money on client acquisition while also struggling to keep consumers. 

“Like Glance, other app producers pre-burn their software onto smartphones,” says Navkendar Singh, AVP and tech researcher at IDC. Unlike such applications, Glance does not need users to take any action.” 

While some smartphone users may consider a lock screen app and one that shows advertising to be obtrusive, Singh claims that customers do not. They think the stuff is new.

Glance, according to co-founder Abhay Singhal, is a category killer. Glance claims to be accessible on 80 percent of newly announced Android devices thanks to partnerships with handset makers. 

According to Singhal, one major issue for app developers is that while users may download the app, everyday utilisation is low in some categories. People may open a handful of applications, such as Instagram, YouTube, a mail app, and WhatsApp, and then repeat the procedure throughout the day. With that knowledge, the team considered smartphone use and the screens that people prefer to gaze at the most. 

Of course, the lock screen.

According to Glance research, people unlock their phones 70 times each day on average. And it just so happens that the lock screen on an Android smartphone is not controlled by Google, but by the manufacturer – a lucky coincidence for Singhal and crew. 

Furthermore, by 2022, Glance will be incorporated into Pragati OS (a joint venture between Jio and Google) and would be the primary lock screen platform for Jio phones. Glance is now accessible on smart TVs.

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