Optus is offering prepaid Android customers 1GB of free data if they watch ads for a month

Photo: William West/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Optus is having another stab at getting people to watch ads via a new app that gives prepaid mobile customers a $2 monthly credit or 1GB of extra data if they watch advertising.

Optus Xtra is an app for Android phones – there’s no Apple version yet – and shows ads on the phone when the screen is locked.

It comes eight months after the telco attempted a similar thing during an update for iPhones, but without any incentive for customers and in breach of Apple’s terms and conditions.

Extra data or credit only applies if a customer with an Android handset on an eligible prepaid plan has the app active for 28 days. Prepaid Ultimate, Ultra Plus and Ultra customers can get an extra 1GB of data every four weeks if they comply, while Daily Plus and $2 Days 4G Ready customers will get a $2 credit every 28 days.

Customers will be able to customise the ads across eight categories – beauty, employment, fashion, government and politics, health, money, technology, and travel. The phone will unlock as usual when an ad is displayed on the screen.

The ads are being sold directly by the telco’s in-house digital advertising agency, Amobee, which Optus says “will give brand advertisers the opportunity to leverage full screen creative executions served within a mobile phone’s most intimate environment”.

But there is a catch for customers: you’ll chew through data to download the app and set it up and if you watch the videos suggested by the ads, it will also use up data.

And if you’re on the Daily Plus and $2 Days 4G Ready, the app will trigger the daily charge, meaning you’ll spend $56 to get a $2 rebate.

Asked about data use for ads, Optus today Business Insider:

Customers generally won’t incur data charges for simply viewing ads on their locked screen without tapping on the ad. However, every now and then ads that customers view on their phone lock screen without tapping on the ad may use a small amount of data (less than 20MB per month).

If customers tap to visit an ad’s website or to watch a video, the data used will come out of their balance as normal. Customers will also use mobile data to download the Optus Xtra app if they do so while connected to the Optus data network.

Data used by Optus Xtra will trigger a day to be charged as normal on My Prepaid Daily Plus and $2 Days 4G Ready Plans.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.