Virgin Mobile USA says that about 1,000 subscribers have signed up for its Sugar Mama program each day since it launched about a year ago. That makes for roughly 330,000 of its 4.8 million subscribers, who are willing to exchange 45 seconds of advertising on their handset or on their PCs for an extra minute of talk time. Virgin has doled out 9 million minutes of mobile talk time since Sugar Mama launched.
According to the MVNO, the Sugar Mama users aren't ignoring the advertising either: They clicked on offers in the ads they viewed more than 5 percent of the time, which is higher than the average online click rate: less than 1 percent. Pepsi, Xbox and the truth.org campaign were the initial partners for Sugar Mama, but now Jive Records, Levi Strauss, New Balance, Nintendo, Showtime Networks, Sony Pictures and the U.S. Navy, among others, have inked advertising deals with Virgin for the service.