Blyk’s one year celebration party: 145k users and growing

Congratulations to all at Blyk, everybody’s favourite ad-funded MNVO. The beautiful people were out in force when I arrived at the Blyk summer party this evening.

They know their stuff, do Blyk. Their events are always well orchestrated and organised. Here’s a QIK of me arriving:

I was a little bit late so I missed the first part of the speeches, but I did manage to get a good lot of UK CEO Shaun Gregory‘s introduction. Clearly speaking to the advertising executives in the house, he made a very direct point to them, offering not only ‘free Blyk Breakfasts’ (excellent idea) but also personally guaranteeing that he’ll help them see the light. And it won’t be difficult. Not with 29% response rates.

Here’s a bit of Shaun’s speech. Highly recommended if you’d like to see just how direct Blyk are being with their customers (in this case, the advertisers). I like it:

Just after Shaun’s speech, I was talking to one of their PRs.

“Who was that?” I asked.

“You’re, er, kidding, right?” she replied.

“No. I, well, no I don’t know. I took a video and want to put his name on it. Who was it?”

“Are you JOKING?” she asked, astounded.

“I only just arrived!” I explained, I didn’t get his name.

“That’s Shaun! Shaun! The UK SEE EEEEE OHHHH!”

Ah hah. Haven’t met the chap. But I liked how he came across. I liked his directness.

I hunted high and low for Commercial Director, Geoff Morely. I wanted to slap his back and say good work.

I did bump into Leif Fagelstedt, Blyk Chief Operating Officer.

“Ah hah,” I thought, “He’ll know a thing or two about Blyk, won’t he?”

“How are things going,” I asked him, “My readers want to know all!”

Leif knows his stuff. “Over 900 campaigns,” he says, firing stats at me so quickly that I started making notes on his business card, “And our average response rate is still on 29%.”

That’s a bit of a coup for Blyk. Quite a few in the industry didn’t think they’d be live and kicking a year on. Pooh to them, eh?

Time to get Paxman, I reckoned.

“What about free data then, Leif? When are we seeing free data for the customers?”

“We’re the biggest provider of free data,” Leif began. You what? Oh. What? I didn’t notice that one. Then Leif continued, “relating to our successful advertising campaigns.”

Ahh. Good one 😉 I had to ask him twice. I thought maybe he misunderstood but he got me. I wonder if that signals that the Blyk top people have been considering free data for their customers? If so, how much free data? Difficult one when Voda’s chucking their (monthly) subscribers 500mb inclusive.

“What can I tell the analysts and investors reading, Leif?”

“We’ve got a very clear vision,” he shoots, “We’re the fastest growing youth media in the UK at the moment. By the end of the year, we want to be the biggest. Then we want to do it in Europe.”


“What about Umobile, the ad-funded MNVO in the Philippines?” I wondered if Leif and his team had been paying attention to the market.

You betcha. He knew exactly who they were.

“We welcome the competition,” he said, smiling.

“And what phone do you use?” I asked.

N95. Leif’s an N95 man. Good man.

Alphabeat, the band for the night, was playing, big time, so it was difficult to ask Leif any more questions. I thanked him for his time then went to film a little of the band and pretend that, just for a moment, I was a bit cool:

(The Alphabeat video is worth a look)

I bumped into Geoff Wright and stunned him, momentarily, with a live QIK. Social media master that he is, he jumped straight in and delivered. Here he is:

I then proceeded to buttonhole Geoff about unlimited Blyk texts, minutes and data (a pet subject of mine). He stood up well to the barrage.

Then I spotted a 63336 tshirt. Smart man. I yelled across at the guy when I saw him, startling him somewhat, “Are you from AQA?”

“Yeah!” the guy replied.
“Wossyername?” I yelled, still about 6ft away from him. In retrospect I think I could have chosen a more dignified approach, but, well, I was excited to see someone from AQA (Any-Question-Answered), one of Blyk’s partners.
“Steven [or Stephen],” he answered.
“Where’s Paul then?” I asked, surmising that Paul Cockerton, Marketing Director, wouldn’t be far away. He wasn’t. I stuck the phone in front of him and pressed stream:

Nice one Paul!

Nice one Blyk!

Recently Published

“Apple will only sell 100,000 of their headsets in the first year” Really?

BGR reports a TrendForce estimate that Apple will sell 100k units of their new headset when released and says “but that’s still a big...

The BlackBerry Movie: Worth a look, but it’s heavy on fiction

I went to see the BlackBerry movie last night here in Dubai. I was astonished to find the movie theatre almost full, apart from...

Question: When is the only time a traffic jam is good news in the UK?

Answer: When you're sitting in the back of an Uber and you need reliable mobile signal. Boom! Sad, isn't it, dear reader? Travel all around...

Ah yes, an S23 with a BlackBerry Bold Keyboard: Exactly what I (think) I need

I was playing with Midjourney, the AI/photo generation service and I asked it to show me what a Samsung S23 would look like with...

It’s ok, your moon photos aren’t fake, they are just enhanced – quite a bit

Have you taken a photo of the moon recently? I almost did, the other day, when I spotted a fabulous moment here in Dubai....

Don’t move! You’ll jinx it! This looks like a tiny bit of innovation in the mobile world

It has been quite a while since I’ve seen anything in the mobile industry that’s caused me to want to write much. Just look...