Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telco, has officially entered into the $10 billion advertising segment with the launch of its adtech service, called Airtel Ads. Since last year, the service had been running in the beta mode and helped the telco fetch Rs 100 crore ($13.7 million) in annualised revenue.
Based on the telco’s deep data science capabilities, the new service will enable brands to serve consent-based and privacy-safe advertisement campaigns to Airtel’s 320 million customers across various businesses like mobile, DTH and homes.
Airtel claimed that its customers would receive only the most relevant brand offerings and not unwanted spam. The telco added that its rigorous compliance with ad-tracking standards and norms allows complete transparency with advertisers and ensures “ZERO Ad Frauds” in the form of false impressions and clicks.
“Airtel Ads breaks new ground in the $10 billion Indian advertising industry. By abstracting Airtel’s unique strengths of quality customers, best-in-class network and world-class digital platforms, Airtel Ads offers innovative channels for brands to reach the right audiences,” said Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer Bharti Airtel.
The Indian advertising industry is expected to grow to $ 19 billion by 2025 from the current $10 billion.
With the new service, brands will be able to advertise across Airtel products, including video and music streaming apps Wynk and Airtel Xstream. Nair said that it would extend its service to the offline retail segment leveraging its pan-India retail store network.
“We have millions of customers walking into our mass retail and storefronts…I believe even in our mass retail, and these ads units can appear to help our customers,” Nair said.
Airtel Ads is well-positioned to capture a meaningful share of the growing pie with its sharp focus on quality. Nair said that the advertisement segment would significantly help the company grow its revenue in the coming quarters.
“Advertising is an adjacency to our core business…we combine the privacy that is paramount to our customers with the trust and transparency that is vital to the brands we serve,” Nair said.
During the beta phase, Airtel Ads delivered successful campaigns for over 100 brands across multiple categories, including FMCG, BFSI and digital startups. Early advertisers include PepsiCo, zomato, CRED, Tata AIG, Lenskart, Apollo 247, Cars24, Gameskraft, Vahan and Harley Davidson, among others.
Nair said that customers’ data privacy and customer consent would be fundamental to the company’s advertising business.
“…there is very little information we’re obtaining from the user. Because there is a data set that Airtel is sitting with and we’re using that to help our consumers connect to Airtel’s products. That’s something we must do…obtaining data is something that Airtel does not need to do. [This is] unlike if I were a company outside Airtel, where I would have to obtain data,” he told Indian media during a briefing.
Airtel’s mobile customers have the highest average monthly data consumption at 16.8 GB and the highest monthly ARPU of Rs 166 ($2.29). The telco claimed that its fast-growing DTH and Homes networks serve premium households across the country.
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