Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Optus turns to lockscreen ads in exchange for free prepaid credit

Sick of paying for mobile credit on a prepaid phone? If you’re on Optus and are happy to see an ad or two, you may have a way of cutting down the costs.

With all of the activity of everyday life, it can be very easy to run down the credit in a mobile phone. You have friends you need to call, text, and email. There are websites to visit and cat videos to view, and of course plenty of music to stream on a daily basis.

Post-paid mobile customers don’t always feel the pinch because they may have large data and credit caps, but prepaid folk can be affected quite easily, forcing a good $20 to $50 spend if they want to get a few extra megabytes or a couple of bucks in credit.

Optus is this week making a change to its prepaid plans with the introduction of a program designed to give a little extra credit or data monthly provided you scratch Optus’ back a little.

Almost like taking a page out of the book of freemium games where if you watch an ad, you get free in-game currency, Optus will allow Android owners to earn data or mobile credit by running advertisements on their lock screens.

Think of it as data or credit you can earn by turning your phone’s idle time into a billboard that other people might see, and that also might convince you to buy things.

“Our prepaid customers have told us they want to boost their data, but are also budget conscious,” said Megan Forster, Director of Product Innovation and Value Added Products at Optus.

“By giving customers the option to earn extra data through watching ads, Optus is enabling them to enjoy more of what they love, without spending an extra cent,” she said.

The concept was developed in partnership with a New Zealand start-up, Postr, and essentially shows static ads as a sort of lock screen replacement for Android phones, with Optus customers running the app able to earn the 1GB of data or $2 credit after 28 days of using Optus Xtra, meaning you can’t just download it and get the extra credit right away, but rather have to use the service for a good month while keeping your prepaid balance topped up.

According to Optus, customers with the My Prepaid Ultimate, My Prepaid Ultra Plus, and My Prepaid Ultra are eligible to earn the 1GB data every 28 days, while customers on the My Prepaid Daily Plus and $2 Days 4G Ready plan can earn the extra two bucks monthly.

Perhaps more importantly, the app will not stop you from unlocking the phone, instead offering you the option to view a video advertisement or a website if you want, with the choice of ads customisable inside the app, deciding between eight categories: beauty, employment, fashion, government, health, money, technology, and travel.

“Optus is constantly partnering with talented members of the tech community to identify opportunities and build creative solutions for our customers,” said Forster.

“Partnering with Postr to develop Optus Xtra has enabled us to deliver an innovative solution for customers who want more data.”

Optus prepaid subscribers can find the app on the Google Play Store now, though shouldn’t expect the free data or credit until 28 days from when they start using the app.

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