Orange’s youth push no monkey business

Orange’s move to launch a free music service for pay-as-you-go customers is being greeted as a welcome alternative to young consumers who can’t afford alternative offers such as Nokia Comes with Music.


Yesterday (July 30) the mobile operator unveiled a tie-up with Universal Music and Channel 4 called Monkey.

Targeting 16 to 24 year olds, it allows pay-as-you-go customers on the Monkey package to create, listen to and share playlists on the web and on any mobile handset.

Significantly for the music industry, it’ll be legal. And significantly for consumers, they will be able to access this on handsets as cheap as £9.99.

The partnership with Universal Music will give users access to hundreds of thousands of songs by artists including Take That, Lady Gaga, Girls Aloud, Duffy, Mika and Amy Winehouse.

Industry experts say Orange appears to be hitting the right marketing notes in its push to ensure young consumers continue to spend.

Initiatives such as this, providing consumers with “added value”, are hoping to ensure consumers continue to dip into their hip pockets, while also driving brand loyalty.

Kieran Bourke, client services director of MPG’s Mobext business, says Monkey is an example of “true integration” which is likely to “excite the 16-24 year old audience who are hungry for ad-funded content”.

Ovum principal analyst Mark Little adds that Orange’s Monkey jumps on the same bandwagon as the ad-supported music streaming business, Spotify.

“Monkey has been very clever at targeting the pay-as-you-go market where perhaps money is not as easily available,” he says. “Orange is tapping into the more cash strapped end of the teen market on their mobile phones.”

He says the fact that Monkey can be accessed on any handset provides a cheaper alternative to models such as Nokia Comes with Music and Spotify which will soon have an application on the iPhone.

Orange is also planning to provide brands with the opportunity to target Monkey customers with relevant offers direct to mobile following a partnership deal with Blyk, the ad-funded mobile network.

When Blyk relaunches as an Orange-branded service at the end of August, Orange will use the former’s technology to serve ad related information.

Bourke concedes: “Both Blyk and the Orange network have proven effective for our mobile advertising clients, so we are looking forward to evaluating the uplift delivered by greater integration and a richer mobile media environment.”

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