It will be interesting to see if Virgin Mobile USA’s “Earn Airtime in Your Spare Time” incentive service gains enough traction to matter. Three national advertisers have signed on for the initial rollout; Microsoft with Xbox; Pepsi-Cola North America, with Diet Mountain Dew; and the American Legacy Foundation‘s truth® youth smoking prevention campaign.
Virgin’s Pay-As-You-Go customers will be invited to watch a streaming video advertisement then answer questions to show they watched the segment and understood key takeaways. Correct answers earn free airtime minutes. Subscribers may also earn airtime by opting-in to SMS messages containing advertisements or discounts.
Virgin's program is a new twist on the video-on-demand model from ultramercial.com that grants users “free” access to premium content if they choose to watch full-screen multi-page commercials as an alternate form of payment.
Time is money - the more you spend of one the more you'll save of the other. It might be easier and less intrusive to pay a couple bucks for direct access to the content you want than sit through commercials. That's one of the reasons we pay to see movies in the theater isn't it... hey wait a minute!