Ad Platform Pays People to Host Ads on Their Phone’s Home Screen

Wouldn’t we all look more kindly upon smartphone ads if someone paid us to do it? That’s the idea behind Android app Locket, which displays ads on a phone’s lock screen. A user earns one cent each time he or she swipes to unlock the device.

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Founded in March, the app has already attracted 150,000 users and signed big-name advertisers like OrbitzAmazonSpotify, and SunnyD. To the orange-flavored drink brand, Locket is an opportunity to target “mobile moms in grocery stores.”

Consumers may be targeted by demographic, age, location, time, and type of device. Glancing quickly at their phone, they see a static advertisement. Swiping right unlocks the phone; swiping left engages the ad, bringing the user to a brand’s landing page, coupon deal, or video. Users get paid whether they engage or not, and may cash out earnings as a gift card, donation to charity, or a simple PayPal transfer to a personal bank account. Brands are rotated constantly to avoid tiring out users, and Kim claims a click-through rate of four percent (four times the average) for marketers.

Why Am I Curious?

I am curious because it is a very interesting idea with immense hyper-targeting opportunities and one that consumers voluntarily sign up for. However, despite the initial 150,000 people sign up, I am not convinced that the payout is big enough to convince people to actually do this and clutter their personal property with advertisement. Or is it perhaps that people who would sign up for this service would a self-selecting group (“Couponers”) that end up dictating what kind of ads are served on the platform?

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