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UC Ads lends a hand to individual content creators in India

Almost every e-commerce player and mobile phone manufacturer is currently working with them

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MUMBAI: Mobile marketing in India is no longer a side dish. It’s the entree.  Brands know today that they need to invest a good chunk of their marketing budget to mobile ads. Sensing the opportunities in the evolving market, Alibaba Mobile Business group’s UCWeb launched innovative mobile marketing platform, UC Ads, last year. Alibaba UC Ads general manager Morden Chen, in an interaction with Indiantelevision.com spoke about business strategy and differentiated features of the platform.

While UCWeb is an integral part of the Jack Ma led e-commerce giant’s strategy, it offers three core products including UC Browser, UC News, 9 Apps. Explaining how UC Ads is increasing its reach in India, Chen mentioned that it’s correlated with its overall product strategy.

“Our product strategy is to serve another half of the global users who are just getting started for mobile internet. Users who just got their new Android phone, who just started mobile internet, can explore this interesting mobile world through our browser, a product with newsfeed and app store,” he said.  On the back of huge consumer base it has already created with existing products, UC Ads can help brands with the insights for targeted advertising.

Talking about the clients, Chen said almost every e-commerce player and phone manufacturer are currently working with them including Amazon, Oppo, Vivo, Honor and Lava.

After being in the Indian market for almost one year Chen says, “This market is rapidly growing. From my perspective, it will grow even faster due to new phone adaptations. It’s a booming market which I think will continue to boom in the next 10 years.” Interestingly, according to KMPG 2018 annual report, mobile advertisements are expected to grow from Rs 34.5 billion in FY17 to 304.5 billion in 2023 at a 43.8 per cent CAGR.

“Before 2013-14, it was small. Around 2015, it’s getting more and more attention. Advertisers also want to invest, try and experiment in the sector. With more resources coming in it will get better. Mobile has many advantages that traditional players lack. Location-based, device based tracking is super easy compared to TVC. It has huge potential,” he added further.

According to him, Indian online video space is full of long-form ads which are similar to TVC. On a different line, it is focusing more on short-form video created by individuals or small studios or individuals who want to have a studio and individual bloggers. It will mix official media content with articles from bloggers who have a deep understanding of something particular. “We want to let their articles also be viewed by users,” he added.

While Chen was asked about competitors, he said everyone would mention those “two big guys” but he would not do so. According to him, the ever-interesting advertisement space is full of “feminies” (friends and enemies). If someone does better in one front, a competitor can do in another. According to him, working together will help everyone. The real challenges are fast adaptation, better infrastructure and 4G quality for seamless user experience.

Talking about the Indian market, Chen also highlighted the necessity of good market research. Many internet startups came into India thinking it would be easy to monetise the product with the huge population. While getting users is not difficult, making the venture profitable is the real challenge.

“We want to stay here, grow with the market and align with the local players,” Chen concluded. Currently, while UC Ads is present in India, Indonesia, Russia, the product may be available soon in Vietnam.

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