Subscriptions Looking Bleak for Blyk?

What good does it do to advertise on an ad-supported cell phone service if there’s a way for subscribers to turn off the function that delivers your ads? That question is probably running through the minds of the advertisers who signed on with the UK’s Blyk, thanks to an article that ran The Inquirer. The story, which ran with the headline “Blyk Denies Slow Subscriber Rates,” cites an anonymous Blyk user who claims that most of the folks who use the service have turned off the phone’s messaging function to keep from receiving the ads that Blyk is dependent on to keep the service alive.

According to Blyk COO Leif Fagelstedt, this is not the case, but is probably just an instance of people not understanding how the Blyk service works. To enjoy the “full” service, users need to have the correct MMS/picture messaging settings installed on their handset, something that the company said is easy to do on some 60%-70% of the handsets recognized by the Blyk network. There’s also a limited, free version of Blyk that doesn’t require the user to receive the MMS ads.

The MVNO claims that in the three-and-a-half months since its service launched in the UK, it has run some 400 ad campaigns and seen a 29% response rate.