Blyk Claims Up To 43 Percent Click-Through On First Mobile Ads

Six weeks after launching, Blyk – the mobile virtual network giving free calls and texts in return for receiving ads – has given us some numbers indicating its progress.

Response: Sales director Jonathan MacDonald told me the ads users receive have so far got a click-through rate of between 12 and 43 percent, depending on the format (Blyk does SMS, text-and-picture MMS, photos, animations, video and a bespoke format).

Demographic: While Blyk is available to those in the 16-to-24 age bracket, the biggest band of users so far is between 17 and 20, while 19-year-olds are the most prevalent in the subscriber base, MacDonald said. It’s a 52/48 percent split in favour of men. At 57 percent, university students are currently the biggest demographic base, with six-formers, college students and school pupils behind.

Numbers: He wouldn’t reveal the total number of subscribers at this early stage but reiterated the 12-month target of getting 100,000 users before upscaling, “rather than dropping millions of SIMs on to market”.

Meanwhile, Blyk has launched a weblog called Shift6 (the keyboard code for the arrow figuring in its logo). For anyone still confused about Blyk’s hands-off approach to its own brand identity, brand and design head Marko Ahtisaari (ex Nokia (NYSE: NOK) design director) posted there to explain “open-code” approach to marketing: “Our goal is to create the Blyk brand together with our members, to invite them to take part. (The logo) means ‘insert here’, symbolising the fact that Blyk relies on its members