What do you want first?
American Idol to raise money for charity via premium text messaging.
The good news or the bad news?
The bad news is that tonight American Idol must whittle down its contestants to the final sexy six. The good news is that it will establish a premium SMS solution to its program to raise money for charity.
“By texting the word IDOL to 20222 a one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. You may text your donation to Idol Gives Back up to 3 times per cell phone. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of Idol Gives Back by the Mobile Giving Foundation”
Port Washington, N.Y. – Text savvy southerners may help explain why all five “American Idol” winners hail from south of the Mason-Dixon line, according to figures from the NPD Group.
Cingular Wireless L.L.C., which sponsors Fox TV’s hit reality show, is based in Atlanta and claims 20 million subscribers in the south, the market research firm said. And half of the reported 18 million Cingular subscribers who actively use text messaging are from the carrier’s home region, more than doubling the number of Cingular text message users from any other region.
The 5-year-old show has crowned winners from Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and two from Alabama.
“Cingular has partnered with the show’s producers to provide text message voting solely from Cingular phones, so it’s certainly possible that southern subscribers might have more of a voting edge than those in other regions of the United States.” Said Drew Hull, wireless industry research director for NPD. “Had ‘American Idol’ partnered with another carrier with a higher percentage of their subscriber base in another region, the results might have been different.”
The winning streak can’t entirely be traced to Cingular’s heavy presence in the south, however. The show’s first two winners- Kelly Clarkson from Burleson, Texas and Ruben Studdard from Birmingham, Alabama.- won while the show was sponsored by AT&T Wireles Services Inc.,which was headquartered in Redmond, Wash.
Cingular took over as sponsor following its acquisition of AWS in late 2004.