Summary:

As consumers become increasingly reluctant to pay for Wi-Fi in public spaces, hotspot providers are looking for other ways to monetize wireless connections. Airport Wi-Fi provider AWG is working with location-based ad company JiWire to trade access for advertising views.

Dublin Airport Wi-Fi laptop

Location-based ad provider JiWire is working with hotspot ISP Advanced Wireless Group to support the latter’s free ad-supported Wi-Fi service in airports. As consumers become more and more reluctant to pay for Wi-Fi, hotspot providers are looking to monetize their connections through advertising and sponsorship.

Operating today in 15 U.S. airports, AWG typically provides two tiers of service: a basic, limited Wi-Fi connection, which anyone can access for free if they watch a video or view a website, and a premium paid service for customers who want a higher-quality connection. It’s an approach that Boingo and other hotspot aggregators have also adopted.

JiWire has built its business model on the principle that ads are more valuable if they’re tailored to their location. Where a consumer accesses Wi-Fi is not only useful for serving up ads for nearby restaurants or stores, it can also provide insights about the consumer making the connection. For instance, people who use Wi-Fi at airports tend to be more affluent travelers, which would make them ideal targets for hotel or airline ads.

Airport image courtesy of Flickr user Michal Osmenda

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