Blyk ink exclusive deal with Vodafone

Remember Blyk, the ‘yoof’ ad-funded mobile service? Last thing we heard they were rumoured to be shutting up shop – but it turned out they were merely changing direction towards an operator partnership model.

With the course set towards that destination, Blyk announced yesterday they’ve inked their first operator deal – an exclusive with Vodafone in the Netherlands. The two companies will work together to, amongst other things, co-develop the consumer proposition and manage the audience. At least that’s what it says on the press release. Here’s a couple of soundbites:

“We’re extremely pleased to be extending our relationship with Vodafone. For Blyk, the partnership is part of a global strategy to bring scale and speed to our operations, while continuing to provide an innovative and valuable proposition for both consumers and advertisers. Together with Vodafone, we intend to build a game changing engagement media in the Dutch market.” says Blyk co-founder and CEO, Pekka Ala-Pietilä. “Our relationship will include a co-development of the consumer proposition for the Netherlands and audience management.  Blyk will have responsibility for the advertising sales and technology.”

Eric Kip, Managing Director Blyk Netherlands, says: “The Netherlands has the third highest advertising spend per capita in Europe and is a hub for many global companies and ad agencies, so it is an obvious territory for Blyk’s expansion. The advertising market, whilst both creative and dynamic, is also cluttered and we believe youth brands will welcome a highly engaging communication channel like Blyk. We are confident that both Dutch advertisers and global advertisers will make use of Blyk’s unique ability to connect them with an important consumer segment.”

Strangely there’s nothing there from Vodafone. Not a peep. So is it ‘just’ another MVNO deal, like their arrangement with Orange in the UK – or something a bit more substantial? There’s been no announcement of a launch date as yet, or even exactly what they’re planning to launch. Whether this is the start of something bigger – a possible purchase of Blyk by Vodafone and/or roll-out across other Voda countries – is also unknown.

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