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Zero cents per minute: 100,000 takers so far


We covered mobile virtual network operator Blyk both before and just after its launch last year. For those who have been wondering how the company is doing, last week it reported that it had reached 100,000 members in Britain in just six months. Blyk targets 16- to 24-year-olds with its free mobile phone service, which includes 217 texts and 43 minutes every month. In exchange, of course, they get advertising—up to 6 messages sent to their phones each day. Britain’s youth don’t seem to mind, though—Blyk reached that 100,000-member target six months ahead of schedule. Response rates to the ads in question have also achieved a whopping average of 29 percent—far surpassing the norm, which tends to hover in the single digits. Shaun Gregory, Blyk’s UK CEO, explains: “Reaching 100,000 members is significant for advertisers because it gives them the opportunity to engage with a mass youth audience in a highly efficient and cost-effective way. In six months we have built up a deep knowledge of our member base, which now exceeds many established youth media players, and with over 7 million 16- to-24-year-old phone owners in the UK, there is huge potential for growth.” Blyk will launch in the Netherlands in the second half of 2008, followed by other European markets after that. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs and Industrial and Financial Investments Company (IFIC) recently joined the company’s list of investors, which also includes Sofinnova Partners and a number of others. Free love, you’re on a roll! Spotted by: RK



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