Orange launches Monkey for youth

Orange UK is taking on the youth market in conjunction with Universal music in a pre-paid service branded ‘Monkey’.
The service will leverage the back-end smarts of recently-acquired MVNO Blyk .Last week the ad-funded cellco Blyk conceded that its business model has failed and announced it would  pass its 200,000 UK users over to Orange.

Orange had previously hosted Blyk's MVNO service. The Monkey service is also backed by Channel 4, which is planning to relaunch its 4Music brand in September to tie in with the new mobile service.

Ovum analyst Mark Little said that Monkey would be well-positioned on basic low cost handsets phones at a time when challenger, online music service Spotify, is still waiting to sign with Apple’s and Google’s high-end smart phones that target a more mature, well heeled consumer.

“The immediate problems for Orange following this announcement will be to persuade the other 3 majors to join Universal on Monkey, as well as persuading online Spotify users to sign up or stay with Orange instead of saving up for a Spotify-compatible phone,” he said.

The carrier said the service was designed to lure 16 to 24-year-olds away from illegal online file-sharing.  It allows Monkey users to dial code 247 to start listening to playlists created by 4Music streamed over their mobile phone connection. The service works on any handset.