It’s rare that consumers celebrate ads on their devices. But they may be singing a different tune after downloading Locket, which pays them for their time.
“What we’re trying to do is change how mobile advertising works,” she says. “We want to make sure that every single ad we put out there is enjoyable, that they’re aesthetically pleasing.”
Beautiful or not, monetized mobile ads on lockscreens could raise a lot of dough for consumers. Kim says people look at their lockscreens 150 times a day. Multiplied by the million Android users out there, that’s a lot of screentime-turned-dollars-and-cents.
Locket’s model could potentially change the mobile ad game, as it rewards customers for their attention like no other company does, despite past attempts to harness the power of the platform. Both angel investors and Great Oaks Venture Capital took notice. Kim says it took three business days to acquire funding from the latter, who pumped in $500,000 in April. “We went in to pitch [and] we heard back in 24 hours,” Kim says.
Though Great Oaks takes a hands-off approach, Kim notes the VC firm has provided more than just financial support.
“We are a team of six, including myself. Yesterday we launched and we were getting 10,000 users downloading within a few hours and we really needed help. I called them up at one in the morning saying, ‘We are getting too many emails, we don’t know how to respond,’” Kim says.
“He responded saying, ‘How many interns did you need?’” she says.
A quickly-increasing user base will do nothing but boost Locket’s growth goals, which also involve fundraising and working with more advertisers. Right now, users get a penny per ad view and can only earn 3 cents an hour; but Kim says these numbers might not stick. The app’s also planning to give customers choice in redeeming their accumulated change. Currently, they can cash in anything they’ve racked up past the $10 mark via Paypal, but in the future, Kim sees people donating to charity, purchasing gift cards and paying down their phone bills.
Importantly, though, Kim says Locket’s not only about making money. Instead, her goals for the mobile ad world are more idealistic.
“The beauty of…high quality print ads has been lost in mobile advertising and we want to bring that back,” she says. “We don’t want users to be just sitting there and unlocking their phones to get the money. We want them to be able to enjoy the ads.”
When ads appear on lock screens, users can choose by swiping left or right whether to engage or not. With participation pretty much optional across the app, Locket may succeed in making advertising less annoying to some consumers. But if you find yourself bummed by overexposure to ads, remember you’ve only got yourself to thank––and with Locket, three cents more than you had a second ago.
Images provided by Yunha Kim of Locket