The U.K.-based mobile virtual network operator
is saying that in its first eight weeks of operation it just might have a valid business model after all. The MVNO offers free mobile service to 16-24 year olds. In exchange for free minutes and text-message allowances, users have to view ads on their phones. So far, up to 43 percent are actually clicking on the ads
for more information.That's a pretty big response, but it is dependent on the form of the advertisement
. Blyk offers advertisers a number of different way to reach out to subscribers, including MMS, SMS, photos, and animations. Blyk did not say which advertising format is drawing the biggest response, but even the smallest click-through rates are running at 12 percent. Not too shabby at all.
(I don't know about any of you, but I don't click on any ads in any format unless sheerly by accident. And advertising dollars pay my bills.)
According to data from Blyk, the bulk of its customers range between 17 and 20, with 19 year olds being the largest group. Also, 52 percent of its users are men, and 57 percent are university students. That data alone should help advertisers target their ads accordingly, though users to have to fill out a questionnaire before being allowed to join.
Whether or not Blyk will reach its first-year target of 100,000 subscribers, company reps didn't say. If Blyk does reach its goal, and users continue to click on ads at current rates, then perhaps there is a future for this type of service.