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Lucky Stars App: A Mobile Gaming Platform for Marketers Across Geographies

Lucky Stars app is at present accessible across all locations in India. The tremendous response from the end users and brands in India has been very encouraging and we are continuously looking at improving our user experience and prize offerings by associating with the best brands in India.

Mobile gaming in India is turning out to be a growing advertising platform with brands associating for higher audience engagement.

Excerpts from the conversation with Hetin Sahukja, Technopreneur and Founder of IMT, one of the country’s earliest digital companies and the Lucky Stars app.

What is Lucky Stars?
The Lucky Stars app, a contest-based gaming app (with an e-commerce platform under development), has generated over 50,000 registered users, since launch 3 months ago. It has already declared over 500 winners, who have won valuable branded gifts like smart televisions, smart phones, smart and lifestyle watches, gold coins, two wheelers and cameras, amongst a host of other equally interesting products.

What is the thought behind the Lucky Stars?

Lucky Stars is a unique offering, a contest-based gaming app in the country which allows users to win valuable branded gifts for free, with no strings attached. It holds, on an average, one contest everyday, with one or more winners being declared.

The Lucky Stars app is an apt ‘advertising & promotional platform’ for marketers to showcase their products to their target audience, across geographies, in a highly engaging manner.

What are the unique features of the app?
Lucky Stars has multiple contest platforms within the same app depending upon the value of the ‘prize product’ and duration of the contest. The simple to use app is based on a Q&A framework of a single question related to the prize product or a G K trivia with a Yes/No and multiple choice options on the questions. This simplicity of usage and valuable gifts as prize products, has been one of the main reasons for the success of the Lucky Stars app.

How is the competition gearing up to your valuable branded offerings on Lucky Stars app?

There are no similar apps in India based on the same ideology. There are a few websites and apps that offer free gifts on surveys and other conditions but these sites cannot be compared to the Lucky Stars app, as it provides users an opportunity to win without any riders on the site.

Is Lucky Stars looking at funding?
Lucky Stars has received an encouraging response from users and marketers as well and we are in the process of running multiple contests on our app, in association with leading brands from the country. This has upped the excitement quotient, not to mention the e-commerce platform and the loyalty programme to be rolled out soon. Post the launch of our e-commerce platform and the Loyalty programme, we might look for funding options to enhance consumer and brand propositions.

What are your expansion plans?
Lucky Stars app is at present accessible across all locations in India. The tremendous response from the end users and brands in India has been very encouraging and we are continuously looking at improving our user experience and prize offerings by associating with the best brands in India. In terms of geographies, we are contemplating the idea of expanding our reach to other countries in a phased manner.

What is the e-commerce model based on?
At present, the app charges a small fee along with the displayed product from the Brand, for the usage of its platform, depending upon the contest duration. Once the e-commerce platform is launched, contestants will get an opportunity to purchase the displayed products at a lower retail cost on the Lucky Stars platform, besides of course the chance to win it through the contest.

How will the loyalty programme enhance user experience?
Our loyalty programme is based on user interaction with the Lucky Stars app and every action on the app, from logging on to entering a contest, allows the user to accumulate points which are redeemable against product/s on the e-commerce platform. We will also allow winners to earn points against products won, if they are not interested in claiming the gifts. These points too can be redeemed for products on the e-commerce platform.

How has been the market response so far?
The Lucky Stars app is a high engagement platform without any riders and provides users an opportunity to win valuable, branded gifts for free. Similarly, Marketers get an opportunity to connect with their audience through an interactive platform across geographies, with audience metrics to guage the effectiveness and reach.

Marketers are looking at the various possibilities to associate with Lucky Stars app, through ‘prize-product methodology’, as well as the ‘in-app advertising’ model.

Will mobile gaming be the next big advertising platform?
The mobile gaming industry has evolved from a simple to high involvement interactive games that are available for users across all age bands on their smart phones. At present, there are a billion mobile phone subscribers with over 204 million active smart phone users. Nearly, 60% of the total internet usage in India is through mobile phones. India will have over 700 million active smart phone users by 2020. The mobile gaming market size in India is estimated to cross $571 million in revenues by 2016, with a year-on-year growth of 132.2 per cent.

The Smart phone has moved beyond the definition of a mobile handset and has redefined itself as one of the most important gadgets that now control all aspects of one’s personal, social and professional life.

Mobile gaming ranks very high on user engagement and involvement and will be the most interactive advertising platform in the coming future.

What is the market size and opportunities in the mobile gaming segment?
We have just begun to explore the opportunities and possibilities in the mobile gaming segment.

It is led by the youth brigade in India. There is a 65% men - 35% women participation ratio and an average of 7 hours spent monthly (Men 8.5 hrs/month & Women 6 hrs/month) on mobile games. The youth (25 - 34) has the highest playing percentage of nearly 35% compared to other age bands and that’s primarily because we are a youth dominated country. Research has indicated that nearly 85% of all gamers are below the average age of 44 years.

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