As your phone’s alarm rings and you waken and turn it off, it then takes you to a simple game followed by a reward. MalangStudio gets the cobwebs out of your eyes with a character-led, gamified alarm clock app AlarmMon. What makes the game most engaging is the company’s self-designed animation characters. The company has contracts for Xiaomi’s Mi bunny character and other well known characters in China, like Mario and Ali, to greet users with a familiar image when they get up in the morning.

“Where most people approach alarms as a functional app, we thought we need to give people a motivation to get up,” MalangStudio CEO Marc Yeongho Kim said. Obviously the app has a main competitor, which all of us have on our phone – the basic alarm app. However, AlarmMon has its clear market position as an ‘entertaining app to start your morning’, with the team believing there needed to be rewards for getting up. They then added simple games that users looked forward to in the morning, which led to a surge in its popularity.

The company focuses on bringing modern trends to app design, and has accordingly gained a user-based mostly comprising the younger generation in Asia, primarily students and business people. The app not only wakes up its users, but also gives away coupons for free coffee or discounts at convenience stores. It also provides useful information like weather, and air conditions for the day. The company’s business model is based on adverts and sales from alarm content packages such as choosing the character, sound, game that greet the user when the alarm goes off. Characters in the app have also helped the company through additional revenue from their commercialization.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com