Black Dog lands text alert deal with Opera


21 Jul 2004

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Dublin-based mobile content creator The Black Dog Communications has signed a deal to have its range of SMS alert services distributed by Opera Telecom Ireland to an international customer base.

The Black Dog Communications creates premium-rate mobile content such as business news, GAA news and results, Premiership soccer updates, racing tips and celebrity gossip.

Under the terms of the deal, Opera Telecom will host the SMS alerts on its own content system and will be responsible for managing the delivery and billing infrastructure on an international basis. According to Opera Ireland managing director Shane Leahy, Opera will in turn offer the premium rate alert services to its customer base such as media partners on a zero-cost-of-entry, revenue sharing basis.

Leahy gave the example of a US newspaper with a significant Irish readership that could advertise GAA results, which would be available to mobile users by dialling a short code. The newspaper would then receive a share of the revenue generated by the text message.

Worldwide, the Opera Telecom Group has more than 6,000 reseller customers, many of which would be interested in availing of the kinds of information feeds supplied by The Black Dog Communications. In Ireland, Opera Telecom has agreements with several media partners including TV3, Today FM and a number of print media organisations.

Typical SMS alerts will cost 30 cent per message. Higher value content, such as horse racing tips, will be charged at €2 per message. Subscribers can also opt to receive either daily or weekly alerts and can easily opt out of any service at any time, according to Opera Telecom.

“With Opera Telecom managing the distribution, billing and delivery requirements, we are able to concentrate on developing and growing our products and services catalogue,” said Peter Wilson, director of The Black Dog Communications. He added that the Dublin firm would continue its relationship with Opera Telecom over the coming months, during which it plans to extend its service uptake of MMS services, focusing primarily on sports content.

UK-headquartered Opera Telecom is one of the fastest growing and profitable global providers of SMS premium services. The company announced £5.4m sterling profits for the last financial year on revenues of £90.4m sterling. Opera Telecom develops and manages SMS marketing campaigns on behalf of its clients without them having to incur any set-up charges. Opera provides the infrastructure set-up and SMS campaign management. This allows companies to generate revenue quickly from their text message marketing campaigns, where they can present unbranded content such as competitions, quizzes, games, news or information services under their own name.

By Gordon Smith