- Cricket Wireless, the prepaid cellular provider owned by AT&T, rolled out a mobile app from Adfone that lets customers earn rewards for watching ads on their smartphones. The Ad It Up app shows targeted ads and offers, giving customers a chance to earn points that are redeemable for Cricket bill credits and digital gift cards, according to an announcement.
- Cricket will pre-load Ad It Up on millions of select Android phones and will let customers choose whether to participate in the rewards program from their mobile device. The AT&T subsidiary partnered with rewards developer Adfone on the app and program.
- Ad It Up primarily serves ads programmatically through deals with global ad networks and exchanges. The app provides ways to earn rewards through rewarded videos, surveys and offer walls, per details shared with Mobile Marketer.
Cricket's rollout of Adfone's Ad It Up app comes more than a year after the company tested the rewards program over four months. Cricket generated a 47% customer redemption rate for the rewards app during the trial, and says in the announcement that response was three times better than the global industry average for rewards programs. Since the trial ended in March 2018, Cricket and Adfone have since planned the full nationwide rollout of the program that's now live, per the details.
Mobile carriers like Cricket are expanding their rewards programs to urge customer loyalty and differentiate their services from rivals. Verizon in May updated its Verizon Up loyalty program to similarly give customers reward credit every month for on-time bill payment instead of every $300 spent, as the policy previously stood. AT&T Thanks offers premium event access, Ticket Twosdays for movies and a chance to win VIP experiences. Sprint in January launched My Sprint Rewards with an offer of free pizza from Papa John's. T-Mobile U.S. has been very active in its rewards programs, which include checking accounts to its customers in its new T-Mobile Money app and its T-Mobile Tuesdays promotions.
Rewards programs are popular among consumers, with 76% saying they prefer to receive free products and 74% favoring discounts, a survey by Merkle's Helloworld found. The biggest complaints with loyalty programs among those surveyed are that earning rewards takes too long and that it's too difficult to earn perks. The findings indicate how more consumers expect rewards for engaging with a brand in distinct ways, like watching a video or taking a survey.