An industry of intense competition and innovation, the mobile market is going to get it's next interesting model. Free mobile phone calls.
While some talk plans have the possibility to supplement the plan with free calls, Blyk a pan-European free mobile operator is launching the first totally free mobile talk plan in the UK market in mid-2007, with other markets to follow. The service is aimed specifically for young people and is funded by advertising.
BLYK will buy traffic from the major mobile phone carriers and give it for free to it's users, but they will have to read and also respond to a certain amount of advertising.
The service will no doubt allow advertisers very targeted opportunities and initially the service will be perceived as very popular with the young market it is aimed at. However with mobile calls and services coming down in price and with VOIP coming more and more to mobiles the appeal of free calls may not be so attractive. Especially considering the invasive nature of mobile marketing and the effort users will no doubt have to go to to respond and acknowledge the ads. Advertisers are gettting more and more savy to users following up on their ads and will no doubt expect the platform to encourage people to enguage with the advertising. I can imagine teenagers reluctantly clicking rapidly through their inbox of 20 ads, not taking the time to take not of any of the messages. I hope that BLYK have some new innovative ideas for less intrusive advertising for this platform to ensure their success. This model reminds me a lot of the free ISP's of the late 90's - rapid changes int he mobile industry could just make this new service obsolete very quickly.
Read more: BLYK
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