April 20, 2009 / 7:09 PM / 10 years ago

Text query firm launches new media service

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s AQA 63336, a general information company that receives and answers queries by mobile phone texts, launched a new text media service on Monday for providers of information on specific subjects, such as a local sports team’s results.

Chief Executive Colly Myers said he was inspired to launch AQA2U after certain questions, such as lottery results or football scores, came up time and again on the group’s five-year old text-answering service.

“AQA2U is Web 2.0 with a business model,” he said. “It puts texts, alerts updates and offers from anyone who’s got something to say into the hands of followers who are passionate enough to part with a few pounds.”

“We already know people will pay for this as we get many thousands of texts to AQA 63336 asking the same types of questions.”

Myers said AQA2U offered publishers a way to make money from their information — something not possible with free social networking sites, such as Twitter.

“If you are publishing on Twitter at the moment you don’t earn anything,” he told Reuters. AQA2U gives publishers seven to nine pence of the 12 pence it receives per text.

A paying audience, stumping up 25 pence a text up to a maximum of 3.50 pounds a month per topic, also ensured publishers delivered relevant information, he said.

Subscribers pay 98 pence for a topic, such as latest sports headlines or “word of the day,” and then 25 pence per text, he said.

Myers said the company had set a target of 2 million users within five years, receiving a total of 20 million texts a month and generating 5 million pounds ($7.3 million) a month in revenue.

($1=.6847 pounds)

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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