Click on SMSes to earn free talk time

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 25, 2010
Mobile users can now win free talk time, SMS and Internet data packages in return for clicking the messages delivered by mobile messaging firm Blyk.

UK based mobile messaging firm Blyk has partnered exclusively with mobile operator Aircel - which has more than 48 million subscribers in India - to bring the concept of free mobile services in return for consuming SMS in India.

The mobile firm, Blyk, sends information/tips/alerts for various categories such as entertainment, sports, events, dating, relationships, astrology, career and lifestyle as interactive SMS or MMS to its subscribers.

Members can click on the SMS and use the interactive option to extract more information. Depending on the usage of interactive features by its members, they will be rewarded with free talk time, free data and SMS packages. More interaction with messages implies more rewards.

How it works? To subscribe to the service, a user is required to purchase a subscription card/coupon (at Rs 74) from Aircel and register with the service. Once registered, the user will start getting content (SMS/MMS) related to the mentioned categories.

A new subscriber will receive messages from almost all content categories in the first eight weeks. Based on the interaction of the user with the messages in the first eight weeks, Blyk determines the type of content that the user would like to consume in future.

Also, based on the same interaction, Aircel will reward Blyk subscribers with free mobile services.

Information will be passed either as plain text SMS format or as text SMS clubbed with static picture, audio or video files.

Is it for advertisers? "Advertisers can use the service to serve branded messages, use it for conducting market research and test their products and advertising before unveiling it to the general public," says Shubhodip Pal, country manager, Blyk India, in a conversation with afaqs!.

Blyk has already roped in 21 advertisers including Levis, Nokia, Red Bull, ESPN and Smirnoff.

Aircel is promoting the Blyk service through various media. Pal says, "We will spend about 50 per cent of our advertising budget on digital marketing. The rest of the ad budget will be allocated to print, radio, OOH and below-the-line advertising."

There are no plans to use TV to promote Blyk services in India. However, Pal refused to disclose Blyk's exact marketing budget.

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