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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : September 14, 2010

ChaCha to serve content, ads, coupons through new MMS service

One of the largest free answer services is moving into advertising and content distribution this week. ChaCha, which has answered nearly 1 billion questions to date, is launching an MMS service which will distribute video content, coupon images and rich media ads to users via mobile devices. The content to be served includes movie trailers as well as other video content.

by Kristina Knight

chachacpn.jpgChaCha answers roughly 2 million questions each day from its engaged user base of 15 million consumers. The new MMS service will be available on nearly all mobile devices.

Brands using the platform will be able to:

• Send coupon images, complete with barcodes, to consumers
• Launch rich media content, including video, to consumers
• Use barcodes within their coupons for instant redemption
• Message information about contests
• Segment users according to location, handset type or interests

"Many marketers view sight, sound and motion as major enhancements to their brand's message, and we are now in the ideal position to support these objectives in mobile channels," said Scott Jones, ChaCha CEO. "Smartphones have whetted the consumer's appetite for mobile, rich-media content. MMS allows media to finally reach virtually all mobile phones in a way that advertisers can have their messages seen and heard."

Why MMS? Because more consumers are turning to text services for simple text messages (SMS) and to send multi-media messages to friends. In 2009 MMS volume reached a volume of 5 billion messages per month, and although smartphones are still used by only about 25% of consumers, all consumers with mobile phones can access and view MMS messages. Almost all mobile phones shipped in the US since 2008 have had MMS capabilities.

The platform will be opt-in. Consumers will receive content, ads or images from brands only after asking a question. While waiting for the answer to be delivered, the consumer will have the option to opt-in to ads or not.

Tags: ChaCha, MMS advertising, MMS messages, mobile content, mobile coupons, mobile marketing

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