O’Brien argues carriers are often forced to absorb costs associated with data-heavy ad loads. O’Brien and Shine CEO Ron Porat call for digital players to “enter into revenue-sharing agreements” with mobile operators like Digicel, a phrase that will spark concerns over a “shakedown” of the sort Adblock Plus maker Eyeo has been accused of imposing on digital media companies.
Porat said it’s “time for everyone in the digital advertising ecosystem to look to the future and start having a conversation about how better and sustainable digital advertising can be created.”
When asked whether the prospects of an agreement between operators and tech companies were realistic or idealistic, Shine CMO Roi Carthy said in an email to AdExchanger that, “If [O’Brien] believes he can negotiate rev-share with the big boys, then I would take him at his word.”
In a statement to the Financial Times earlier this year, Google said, “People pay for mobile Internet packages so they can access the apps, video streaming, webmail and other services they love, many of which are funded by ads. Google and other web companies invest heavily in developing these services – and in the behind-the-scenes infrastructure to deliver them.”
According to Digicel, ads account for as much as 10% of subscribers’ data use, and the opportunity to skim that off the company’s bottom line was apparently too tempting to ignore.
Digicel filed for an IPO earlier this summer and is taking an aggressive, public stance in the lead-up to its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. But Carthy noted that “Digicel isn’t the only carrier we’re active with, just the first to announce.”