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Orange Takes Over Blyk's Consumers

It seems that advertising driven free telecommunication services are not making much headway in UK with Blyk, a leading mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) closing its operations in UK by the end of August as it has run out of advertisers.

Though considered as a financially viable concept, the idea of free telecommunication services sponsored though targeted advertising has not worked for Blyk as advertisers are not finding customers of its free interesting enough for their attention.

Incidentally Blyk based its model around target advertising though multimedia messaging (MMS) to its subscribers to fund it telecommunication offerings and till now it has acquired around 200,000 users in UK which is appreciable number considering the fact it launched just back in 2007.

It is interesting to note that Blyk is now looking to partner Orange and offer targeted mobile advertising over its network based on user profile and believes its integrated advertising campaigns has huge potential.

Expressing his view on its advertising model, Blyk's chief executive Pekka Ala-Pietilä mentioned "Because advertising is relevant, members don't see it as spam. We have a 25% response rate, but, because of the increase in numbers, we see this as a major building block for Blyk's international expansion. The next part of the strategy is about partnerships."

Our Comments

A mobile phone service completely subsidised by advertising might have been a great idea back in the days when the recession was a remote possibility but now, Blyk can no longer sustain its business. We'd also be curious to see how long Spotify, which relies on the same strategy to survive, will last.

Related Links

Blyk ditches MVNO model for Orange partnership

(Mobile Entertainment)

Blyk partnership with Orange to signal end of free mobile credit model


Blyk Will Close Its UK Ad-funded Mobile Service Next Month (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Blyk goes bye-bye

(The Register)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.