I had a chance to speak to the co-founder of TextPride, Sean O’Brien, this past week about the “Sticker Market” for mobile messaging apps. In case you don’t know mobile messenger “Sticker Packs” have been hugely popular in Asian countries bringing tons of revenue to mobile messaging apps like Line and Kik. Now BlackBerry is pinning one of their BBM monetization goals on selling sticker packs in the BBM Shop which has perked my interest. Sticker packs offer a way for BlackBerry to make money on BBM while providing more functionality and not shoving advertising in our faces.
Sean gave me some great insight into how the sticker market works. At TextPride they partner with many brands like Pixar for Frozen and Toy Story stickers and make them available to mobile messengers by simplifying the licensing for companies like BlackBerry. They enter into the licensing partnerships for BlackBerry and take their cut along the way by providing messaging apps a simple way to monetize content that is non-intrusive. They have deals with companies ranging from BBM to Viber and Kik, 30+ in total, to bring stickers from 280+ characters and properties to the masses.
Personally I am still warming up to the sticker fad but Sean explained a simple draw for the product. They found that the base of sticker packs is showing emotions and the most popular sticker packs show expressions that are hard to put into words. He related a story of one woman who told him it was impossible to stay mad with her boyfriend when he sends here a certain type of “cute” bunny sticker. The best selling stickers seem to support that by having a whole range of emotions and a large selection of personalization options. Its a combination of wanting to have the “unique” sticker to showcase your personality along with wanting the stickers you friends have.
What I found most interesting is that TextPride actually curates and changes up the stickers based on the demographic of the messaging client it is being sold for. For example, the same Popeye sticker pack would be different on BBM and Kik. This is all based on them finding how different messaging apps are used for different reasons.
I asked Sean where he thinks Stickers (together with BBM stickers) are headed in the future and he thinks they are very tied to the exploding mobile messaging market. Stickers are a solution that helps these free mobile messaging platforms make a profit on their free service while offering personalization. I think there is going to be some interesting movement here with brands using stickers as a money maker along with a way to promote their brands while making them part of the conversation.
What do you think about stickers?