However, the operator plans to make Orange Shots available to its entire (opted in) mobile customer base over time. The project marks an evolution of Orange's relationship with Blyk Media, the original pioneer of the ad-funded mobile model, which switched from an MVNO approach to one of white-labelling for operators last year. Blyk closed the doors on its MVNO operation at the end of August 2009, having notched up some 200,000 end users. The firm re-launched itself as an advertising services provider and since September Orange has been testing the platform with its own content and brands including 4Music, Ubisoft, COI and Snickers.
Orange Shots works across SMS and MMS mobile platforms, encouraging customers to message back and give views and opinions. Users receive a variety of benefits, including news and gossip, content, film and games previews, and sports information.
While Blyk will provide the technology behind the service, it will be sold through Unanimis, the digital ad agency that Orange bought last August for an undisclosed sum.