Blyk Mobile have just launched their new MVNO in the UK. You can only join the network by invite only and its promising its subscribers free airtime and text services in exchange for them receiving adverts on their handsets. Blyk was founded by the former Nokia President, Ala-Pietila.
“We have spent the last year developing a unique, robust advertising content engine and whilst the technology we are using is incredibly advanced, the main premise of Blyk is driven by three basic principles–ease of use, interaction and relevance of the communications,” said former Nokia President, Ala-Pietila
This is quite an interesting move, to launch a telco that will be ad funded. Blyk has spent a few months on group studies and live user trials. Subscribers must agree to to answer profile questions and agree to ongoing SMS polling during their membership. This should provide very valuable data for potential advertisers to allow them to really reach their target audience.
In the past two weeks we have seen Google announcing Ad Sense for mobile and Nokia buying out Enpocket, a mobile advertising company. Yahoo and AOL Timewarner have also created some made for mobile advertising products.
“We believe that mobile advertising will be an important element in monetizing [consumer Internet] services for our customers and partners. Enpocket’s mature leading edge platform and people expertise are a strong fit with Nokia existing capabilities in the mobile advertising market,” said Tero Ojanperä, Nokia CTO
Personaly I think this could really be a defining moment in the mobile industry. People have been talking about mobile advertising and the potential it has, now for the first time we are seeing serious players entering the market with some very compelling products. If this could see users receiving free data usage, it would really be paving the way towards a true “convergence” of web 2.0 on mobile. Blyk seem to be going the right way with their MVNO, by building their users around “community” & “interaction”. Definitely a Web 2.0 sounding strategy.
Lets wait and see how this plays out in the market place.