Stickers may seem like child’s play but in the mobile messaging world they’re big business. They’re also a way for brands to get in the texting conversation.
Third-party messaging app Line made about $25 million in the fourth quarter from virtual goods—accounting for 20 percent of its revenue from its almost 350 million users.
One company TextPride—which scored $1.2 million in venture capital in December—specializes in branded virtual stickers. Co-founders Evan Wray and Sean O’Brien said they recently signed a number of deals with brands: movie studios, recording artists, video game companies and sports teams. TextPride wants to be the licensing bridge between the messaging apps, like Line and Kik, and advertisers.
“We have an entire library of content around different movies and iconic characters,” Wray said. “We’re working with brands to produce awesome, highly-engaging content.”
The virtual stickers are more than just cute cartoons and sports mascots that kids would share, they include grown up themes, too. Deals with a movie studio like Miramax give TextPride the sticker rights to movies like Pulp Fiction and Bad Santa. TextPride also is developing stickers for movies like Gangs of New York, True Romance and No Country For Old Men.
Here's a look at some stickers sure to inject some character into text messages: