mVAS - how the mobile content subscription niche works and how to make money from it

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  2. / Is the Mobile Content Subscriptions Niche (mVAS) Still Alive? A Guide on How to Get Started in This Controversial but Profitable Vertical

Is the Mobile Content Subscriptions Niche (mVAS) Still Alive? A Guide on How to Get Started in This Controversial but Profitable Vertical

5 March 2024

Back in 2010-2013, around 1.1 billion people were using mobile devices to browse the internet, and that was the golden age of paid mobile subscriptions. 


Fast-forward to today, and 5.7 billion people, or 57% of the world's population, are now browsing the internet on their mobile devices – that's 5.5 times more than during the glory days of paid subscriptions.

 

 mobile internet statistics

What this tells us is that there is a lot of untapped traffic for those looking to work with Mobile Value-Added Services (mVAS) offers, commonly known as mobile content subscription offers. Many affiliates ditched mobile content subscriptions not because people weren't interested, but because they couldn't keep up with the rules and format updates. Right now, there's not much competition in the mobile subscriptions niche. 


In 2018, some companies changed the game by restricting certain words like "download," "read," and "watch" on buttons. They insisted on using the neutral term "subscribe" instead. This small change messed up the conversion rates for many offers. 


After this, Google started blacklisting websites that promoted mobile subscriptions. As a result, many affiliates gave up on these offers, and the market went downhill. Eventually, MTS, the largest telecommunications service in Russia and the CIS countries decided to shut down its mobile Value-Added Services (mVAS). 


However, this kind of issue didn't happen in Western countries, and the predictions for growth in mobile content still look good:
 

 growth wapclick

 

If you're not familiar with promoting affiliate offers in Western countries, you might find that your budget gets used up quickly. But don't worry, solving this issue is not too hard. Just pick a reliable traffic source that has managers who will work hand in hand with you. For example, on MyBid, every affiliate gets a personal manager who will guide you through the details of your chosen geo and help set up an advertising campaign for consistent success. So, even if you're new to this type of audience, your lack of experience won't be a problem.


This article talks about mVAS, also known as mobile content subscription offers, breaks down their pros and cons, tells you what you need for a successful ad campaign, and shows how other affiliates are using this format. Check it out if you want to learn more.


Why mVAS?


mVAS, which stands for Mobile Value-Added Services, refers to paid subscriptions for mobile content. These services include things like ringtones, videos, jokes, horoscopes, and more. Users pay for these subscriptions by having the cost deducted directly from their mobile account or prepaid balance. There are two main advantages to this system:

  • They are convenient for the user: Users find it convenient because they don't need to enter their bank card details to access the desired mobile content. Instead, they simply connect to the network via mobile internet. Additionally, users save time as they don't have to go through a lengthy registration process; necessary forms are automatically filled out via SMS.
  • They benefit the affiliates: Affiliates benefit from a high approval rate for mobile content subscriptions, which is almost 100%. Many advertisers are willing to accept motivated traffic as long as it completes the target action.

How it works: A user visits a website, registers with their mobile number, or clicks on a clickable button such as "agree" or "subscribe." After this action, the subscription is considered complete, and the payment is deducted from the user's account and sent to the affiliate.


Pros and cons of mVAS 


Besides having good approval rates and being convenient for the users, there are other reasons why this format is worth investing in:

  • Low entry price: The initial investment required for promoting paid subscriptions is relatively low, with a budget of up to $100 being sufficient.
  • Diverse Targeted Actions: mVAS offers various options or flows, with the most popular being click2sms and IVR. These methods allow for the convenient uploading of products tailored to the audience.


    Click2sms offers: This involves users sending a message to a specified number. Subsequently, the advertiser deducts money from the user's account and, in return, sends jokes, forecasts, or other text information based on the subscription. The affiliate earns a conversion credit in this process.


    IVR (Interactive Voice Response): This method involves paid calls, where the affiliate receives payment either after the lead calls a specified number or when they receive a call. IVR is commonly used for horoscopes and fortune-telling, making it easier for users to listen to these services through a bot.

     

    comparison of ivr and click2sms

    ●    High conversion rates: mVAS offers have a high conversion rate. A user only needs to click once or twice to gain access to a service. The fewer steps required before a purchase, the higher the conversion rate.


    There are also minor disadvantages of mVAS:

  • Difficulty finding creatives: Finding suitable creatives can be challenging. There isn't an online service specifically designed for showcasing creatives in this particular niche. To address this, it's recommended to use images related to the offer's topic when creating content. Alternatively, you could hire someone to manually explore websites in the desired geographical location to find creatives used by others.
  • Incompatibility with all traffic sources: Not all traffic sources are compatible. For instance, Yandex accepts paid mobile subscriptions for phishing and scams, posing a risk to the advertising account and the entire campaign. While this issue has a solution, it's important to be cautious, and more details on resolving it are provided below.

 

statics on yandex browser

 

There's no such thing as a perfect niche. Every niche has its ups and downs. To make things easier, you've got to pay attention to some key details, and we'll get into that below.


What you need for a successful mVAS ad campaign


To make a successful marketing campaign, you need a few key things: a way to get people's attention (traffic source), an attractive product or service to offer (offer), and the right tools to manage it all. But there are some details you should know about.


Traffic source: Affiliates usually go for pop-ups and ad networks to get people interested. Getting good pop-up traffic can be tough, but ad networks offer different options. Some have excellent traffic that brings in the right kind of customers. For example, the MyBid ad network owns most of the websites that send users to affiliate offers, so you don't have to worry about the quality of the people coming in.


Offer: In 2023, services in sweepstakes, adult content, gambling, and betting niches are expected to be popular. We'll talk about how to approach them later.


Tools: Finding the right audience for mobile services is tricky because people might be interested in both adult content and weather forecasts. It's better to go for offers that use smartlinks. This tool looks at where the person is, what device they're using, and other details, then suggests the best product for them. This way, you don't waste money on tests, and you consistently get results because the system works on its own.


You'll also need a tracker. It helps you figure out which sites are getting you the most customers, so you don't waste money on places that aren't helping.

 

Where and how to promote mVAS offers


mVAS offers are most effective in converting users from the following geos: Algeria, Sudan, Qatar, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and other geos where the population tends to be less literate. In these areas, users are more likely to believe in various promises made by aggressive creatives, such as winning the latest iPhone through a $2 subscription.


Let's explore the sources in more detail. In 2023, affiliates commonly promote mVAS offers through In-App, TikTok, and advertising networks.

 

TikTok: When opting for the short video format, applications are frequently used. An example includes an app where users input their phone numbers and supposedly see the subscriber’s location. This type of advertising targets those attempting to determine their geolocation. The lead enters their number and subscribes. 


However, caution is advised with TikTok, as the platform does not favor mVAS, leading to occasional bans on applications. Affiliates must stay vigilant and redirect traffic promptly if issues arise. Additionally, conversion is unpredictable; even after visually appealing advertisements, users often swipe up and move on to the next video.

In-App ads: Competitions prove to be relatively lucrative in this format. Users click on ads within the application, receiving bonus money or the chance to win prizes like cars. However, participation in these competitions is not free. Prizes attract a multilingual audience, so testing both English and additional languages like Spanish and French is essential. The primary advertising format in In-App is banners, but banner blindness is a challenge. Affiliates must create compelling and converting content from scratch to overcome this issue.


Advertising networks: Choosing a network that separates traffic into mobile and desktop is important. Without this separation, any offer with any creative might consume the entire budget with zero conversion. For mobile subscriptions in advertising networks, it's most profitable to utilize push traffic and pops. MyBid, for example, offers favorable conditions for regular push notifications and In-Page Push, with a cost per click in Tier-1 countries starting from $0.000169. Adult or dating offers are often optimal, attracting a large audience with a low entry threshold. A popular strategy involves a scenario where a user receives a message from an attractive individual, and to continue the conversation, they must pay for a subscription.

 

adult creative wapclick

Note that nudity is inappropriate for Arab countries due to cultural considerations. Using such creatives in these countries can lead to low conversion rates.


In addition to push notifications, pop ads especially popunders, produce good results. Pop ads are less intrusive, appearing after users have found what they were looking for in a tab and are about to close it. In the provided example, one of the popular mVAS flows is IVR, where the lead calls a number and automatically subscribes to a service.

 

 second adult creative wapclick

Review of popular niches for mVAS subscriptions


In 2023, four mobile subscription niches are gaining traction: sweepstakes, adult content, gambling, and betting.


Sweepstakes


In this niche, users are commonly offered chances to win prizes like flagship phones, gift cards with balances, and cash amounts. Here's an example of a contest where a brand new iPhone 14 Pro is the prize. The first spin of the wheel is unsuccessful. But the generous sweepstakes organizers make an exception for the participant and offer another try:

 

 creative roulette
 

Notice the high engagement metrics on this landing page? Many likes, reposts, views, today's date, and a unique title for each site visitor. The affiliate who created this landing page used tags for the day of the week and the name of the user’s browser. Thanks to this, every visitor is convinced that they are in the right place at the right time.


After a bit of luck on the second spin, the user is told that they have won and they can get their prize delivered to them, but they've got to act fast because the landing page says that there's a limited supply and time to make a choice.

 

 creative with winning iPhone



When the winner has chosen the desired model, he is redirected to the lottery “organizer” website. Here all he has to do is choose a color and a convenient delivery method. At the end of the procedure, the user needs to subscribe to future gift giveaways by sending paid SMS to the numbers of “other organizers”:
 

image10.jpg

 

Some affiliates also tend to add verification “captchas” before redirecting the leads to the “organizer’s” website. At first, you might think this is done to weed out fake visitors and bots, but the verification process is another subscription approach:

 

creative with authorization wapclick
 

A similar approach is to solve a small puzzle and win a phone. But to receive it, the winner must be contacted and subscribed to his number:

 

 creative with puzzle wapclick

 


Apart from electronic devices, you can promote things like gift cards. Anyone who falls for the advertisement and clicks on it automatically wins the gift. When the winner clicks on the link, they are asked to send an SMS to the number, call, or receive a call. The person thinks that the organizer is weeding out bots in this way. The advertiser charges money from the mobile service provider account of the user and they also sign them up using the emails that they submit on the offer page.

 

creative with bank card wapclick

Adult


For the adult niche, a good creative could feature suggestive images with a slight blur and a fake play video button that urges the users to click. 

 

creative bluerom adult wapclick

When someone clicks, a pop-up appears, warning that the content is for adults (18+). To access it, the user needs to log in via SMS to confirm their age. 

 

 creative banner 18+ wapclick

Another approach involves showing a dating site where users choose potential partners by liking profiles. However, to confirm their choice and verify their age, users must send a paid message to a specified phone number.

 

image16.jpg

 

Gambling and betting


In the gambling and betting niche, affiliates use creatives that encourage users to sign up with a bookmaker or casino using a phone number. The advertised company attracts players with various bonuses, forecasts, and promotional codes, delivered in SMS format. 

 

creative betting wapclick

For instance, the example below provides favorable terms for getting started with casino games:

 

 creative gambling wapclick

So, everyone involved wins: the company deducts money from the user's account, the casino gains a new player, and the affiliate earns their commission.


Conclusion


There isn't one perfect approach for everyone. If you're aiming for big returns, platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or TikTok Ads could work. However, there's a downside, these giant ad networks don’t like affiliate marketers due to the grayhat tactics they use, so there's a risk of getting banned. Setting up campaigns on these platforms is also complex, and traffic can be expensive compared to ad networks.
For those seeking profit without high risks, fully managed ad networks like MyBid are good alternatives. In MyBid, you get a personal manager to guide you through any niche, help choose creative content, and consistently generate profit with lower risks.

 

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