Free iPods in the news

Saturday, January 08, 2005

From the New York Times:
Gratis Internet, a Web marketer based in Washington, has developed a system in which it buys pricey products like iPods--Freeipods.com--and gives them away. To receive the iPod, participants are asked to sign up for one of about 10 different offers and to persuade five others to do the same. They have developed similar programs giving out $700 desktop computers (Freedesktoppc.com), $800 flat-screen televisions (Freeflatscreens.com) and high-end designer handbags (Freehandbags.com). The main difference between the offers is how many others must be signed up for the main participant to receive the "free" merchandise. Its customers include Time Warner's AOL; BMG Music Service, a CD club owned by Bertelsmann; and USA Today, which is owned by the Gannett Company.

Rob Jewell, co-founder of Gratis, says the company gives away 500 iPods a week. It posted revenue of nearly $5 million in 2003 and expects that to hit $15 million for 2004, he said.

"It's a very cost-effective way for advertisers to attract new customers," said Jewell, who is 27, "and it's good for consumers as well because they're getting a piece of that."
Read the rest here.
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