Blyk, the UK-based MVNO that operated under an ad-funded business model, is ceasing operation. The company couldn’t last any longer providing free SMS and airtime in exchange for relevant advertising. While the service as we know it is no more, the company will live on.
Completely changing its business model, Blyk will now focus its attention on providing mobile applications and consulting to other wireless carriers on how to provide ad-funded service to its customers. In other words, instead of providing a completely ad-funded service based on pushing advertisements to its users, Blyk will create specialized apps that other carriers can utilize that will offer the idea as a separate option, in addition to normal cell service.
It’s an idea that Blyk should’ve utilized in the beginning. By providing an option to users, it makes much more sense- the users can receive advertisements when they feel like it, in exchange for free SMS and airtime, instead of being forced to all the time. It might just be a sustainable business model in the end- that is if the mobile carriers will start including the app.
With increased pressure from the likes of Google Voice and others that also offer free telephony service, Blyk just simply couldn’t compete. Hopefully, the service will thrive as an app instead of a full-on service-provider, but only time will tell. As you remember, we here at MMW liked the idea of Blyk in the beginning and thought it would make it, if done properly. We’ll definitely keep this on our radar.