China's Alibaba Group which runs its Internet and mobile business in India under UC Web Mobile, on Friday launched its advertising platform called UC Ads.
China’s Alibaba Group which runs its Internet and mobile business in India under UC Web Mobile, on Friday launched its advertising platform called UC Ads. With this the company will be directly competing with other Internet firms including search giant Google and social media networks – Facebook and Twitter, that also run their advertising platforms. In India UC Web Mobile operates three separate platforms UC Browser, UC News, and 9Apps. The company claims UC Browser and UC News have100 million monthly active users, each in India. According to filings with Registrar of Companies (RoC) and data platform Tofler, UC Web Mobile posted about 94% drop in profit to R1.2 crore in FY16. The company’s revenues increased by 100% to R115 crore in FY16. “Our platforms including UC News, UC Browser and 9Apps offer a good consumer experience which has helped us secure a strong user base across the country. Backed by powerful analytical tools, UC Ads will help brands and emerging businesses to improve brand exposure, app download, product reputation, sales promotion and customer acquisition,” said Kenny Ye, GM, overseas business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group.
E-commerce, automobile, online travel agent (OTA), entertainment, education, IT and consumer electronics sectors are some of the sectors to which the company plans to provide its advertising solutions. In efforts to test the waters, the company ran pilots with brands including Vivo, Myntra and OnePlus. As part of the pilot, the company displayed Vivo’s ad in the sports column of UC News. According to Internet firm, Vivo’s campaign registered 600 million impressions. Other firms that have been advertising on the company’s platforms include Paytm, Flipkart, Amazon and Wynk Music.
However, with advertising rate not increasing in the last one year, as video platforms such as YouTube commanding the highest ad rate at R1 per view, Ye, agreed a lot will depend on the number of users using UC Web’s products. “Even as ad rate have not increased, usage of mobile phones have definitely gone up. As more and more people consume content on UC Web’s platforms, we will be able to monetise these products,” explained Ye.
As per Ficci-KPMG 2017 media and entertainment report, digital advertising is expected to grow at CAGR of 31% to reach Rs 29,450 crore by 2021, thus contributing 27.3% to overall ad revenues.