Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Virgin Mobile introduces ad-subsidized calls

Reuters.com writes about Virgin Mobile USA's SugarMama service that will allow customers to earn" up to 75 minutes of free calls per month if they spend an equal amount of time looking at ads and replying to these ads via text messages."

Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin believed "advertising will be "extremely important" to wireless providers as they deliver video and news to phones," but thought "it was not clear if many customers would want ad subsidized calls because cellphone calls are already cheap."

Golvin said, "If you give somebody the choice whether you can have free content with advertising or you can pay for the content they'll chose the former. Realistically the price of voice is pretty darn cheap on a mobile phone these days so giving somebody three free minutes of mobile voice is not a compelling proposition for most mobile users."