Genie's selling point is that it's all about the mobile generation.
For those of us who feel incomplete without calling home ten minutes
before we get there to utter the now irritating phrase: 'I'm on the
It's all about piping out content from the web through to mobile phones
(via SMS and WAP) to - get this - 'create a rich communications and
entertainment experience for today's mobile consumer'. With considerable
attention having been paid to the content, it's not half bad.
Characteristics: You get the usual fair from a good universal portal -
news, gossip, music, competitions, travel, sport and so on. The design
is very clear and you'd have to be some sort of chimp to get lost.
There are nice tie-ins, with ISP services available and a free SMS text
messaging section. The calendar is a good idea as well. This is a sort
of online personal organiser that sends you e-mail or text message
You can even sign up for 'Genie Mobile Dating' if you're really
The site also allows access to content such as MTV, Ladbrokes and E4 and
portal links to AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and Freeserve. Genie.co.uk is part of a
global network of Genie portals including sites in Germany, the
Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan.
Target audience: Clearly, owners of mobile communication devices with
Principals: Genie is 75 per cent owned by BT Wireless and 25 per cent
owned by the BT Group. Kent Thexton is the global managing director,
Laurence Alexander is the managing director of Genie UK.
Funding: When Genie was launched last spring, BT committed a whopping
pounds 160 million to the project.
Marketing: Genie has begun with a TV ad campaign in the UK through
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. There's also been marketing to heavy SMS
Competitors: UK portals and integrated portal companies such as
THE YEAR AHEAD - Excellent prospects
It's a good portal with shed-loads of cash to back it. With broadband
internet access coming soon to your mobile, WAP services might just get
to be useful.