3 UK Launches On-Portal Ad-Funded Content Offer

Mobile operator 3 in the U.K. is set to launch an ad-funded video content service, giving users who visit its Planet 3 portal free video clips, including news, comedy, gossip, animations and film. These services will continue to sit alongside premium entertainment and information services on the portal, such as full-length music tracks and mobile games. 3 is working in partnership with Rhythm New Media, which is supporting the service with “personalized advertising from major brands,” the companies said in a statement.

The companies claim the offer presents brands with a “new opportunity to deliver targeted and personalized advertising to a hard-to-access demographic.” However, the approach is far from game-changing, and relies on users to submit basic demographic data (such as age and gender) before they view free content for the first time. (Indeed, what level of personalization can companies achieve based on this plain-vanilla segmentation approach?) So far, Microsoft and Unilever have signed to advertise on the service when it launches in April.