SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Posts Tagged ‘Blyk’

New mobile advertising movement – EverySingleOneOfUs

Posted by Admin on December 10, 2008

Jonathan MacDonald has launched a new movement in mobile advertising called EverySingleOneOfUs. Jonathan, who’s often know as jMac, was previously the Sales Director at Blyk, so he knows a thing or two about mobile advertising.

The key elements of the new movement can be summed up in this section from the press release:

“The success of mobile advertising and subsidized models based on delivery of content, applications and services, is dependent upon the willingness of participants to accept advertising on their mobile devices. Whilst recent research, including a 2007 survey by Generator Research, confirms that over half of mobile users (61% US and 72% UK) are interested in mobile advertising, there is a catch: Mobile advertising must be relevant and genuinely useful. Ultimately, users demand advertising that relates to their interests and is tailored to their specific needs. Anything else will be perceived as ‘spam’, which degrades the experience, increases the likelihood of churn, and breeds a distinct lack of trust.”

I was lucky enough to see jMac present at the recent Future of Mobile event and not only is he a great presenter – he’s right. Mobile advertising could be great, massive, profitable and most of all a positive experience for mobile users – but only if the industry gets it right.

Jonathan talks about making sure that ads are targeted and relevant and I agree with that. I also believe that advertising has to be used to support services that are deemed to be truly valuable to the user. The concept of ad-funded is in danger of being used to support any old tat service at the moment. It seems as if operators are thinking “they’ll never pay good money for this service, I know, let’s put some advertising in there so we at least get some money back.”

What operators should be doing is finding services that are genuinely valuable to users, but then allowing them to access the service for free if they agree to advertising. I suppose this is all part of jMac’s ‘relevant’.

You can read more about it on Andrew Grills’ London Calling.


Posted in Ad-funded, Industry, Operators | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Blyk to offer targeted content

Posted by Admin on November 28, 2008

Blyk, the network that offers free minutes and texts in return for receiving ads on your phone, is now going to be pushing content at its 16-24yr old customers.

What it isn’t doing is offering customers the ability to browse for content – instead they will push specific content to users, based on the profile they hold.

The company that will be ruinnign this for Blyk is called Velti, and the CEO, Alex Moukas, said:“The more a Blyk member uses the content portal, the more insight we have to work with. This means we can provide more targeted and valuable content as the relationship grows.”

I think Blyk needed to move away from just voice and text as it is a bit restrictive and meant that they couldn’t compete with other networks. If they can get the targeting right  – and it’s about asking, not telling as Andrew Grill blogs about at London Calling – and they can attract the right kind of content it could work well. If they get either of those wrong, then it will prove to be a bigger problem that not offering content at all.

Posted in Ad-funded, Mobile Content, Teen | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Blyk grows and shrinks

Posted by Admin on November 19, 2008

It’s been reported today that Blyk – everyone’s favourite ad-funded mobile network – has raised money for expansion and announced that it will have to make some cutbacks.

While I understand the business logic of that, I would be pretty agrieved if I was one of the cutbacks being made, especially as they have just raised €40m.

Pekka Ala-Pietila, Blyk’s CEO and co-founder, said this of the extra funding, “the advertising industry and operators have expressed a strong interest in bringing Blyk into new countries and Eur40m in additional funding demonstrates the commitment by investors to the Blyk media model.”

While he had this to say about the potential cost cutting, “however, we like everyone else are feeling the impact of the world’s financial situation. As a result, in parallel to securing the new investment, we’ve taken decisive steps to cut costs and streamline our organization.”

To my mind it shows that the Blyk model is of interest and and can be replicated globally, but it’s not quite as good as they originally predicted and needs to be carefully managed. I’m still unsure about the arbitrary numbers of minutes and texts you are allowed. I’m also unsure about how many of Blyk’s subscribers use it for their primary device and how many just have it as a free top-up service for their minutes.

The other issue of course with Blyk is the balancing act of pushing for subscriber numbers to appeal to advertisers and not having too many subscribers as each one is expensive. The figures I heard recently are that Blyk has about 5% of the market of 16-24 year olds. Not bad, but if I was an advertiser I want Blyk to have 10% to make it worth my while.

What those numbers do highlight of course, is that even if Blyk has 10%, then the other five major UK operators must have about 15% each (quick calculations, 5 x 15 = 75%; 10% for Blyk; 15% not subscribed or with other operators). Why aren’t they offering more stuff through an ad-funded model?

It doesn’t have to be minutes, but it could be new services or applications that customers want, but don’t want to pay a premium for. Jonathan MacDonald (ex of Blyk and now of Ogilvy) was talking at the Future of Mobile event about making ads so relevant they feel like content. I would suggest that the future of ad-funded is to go one step further and allow real valuable content, through an ad-funded model.

It’s a question of whether we want to go down the internet route of advertising – annoying, intrusive and low response rates; or the commercial tv route – I accept the ads because i know they pay for the content I want.

Posted in Ad-funded, Operators, Teen | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »