NewsToScreen, the service by Finnish marketing men that aimed to charge consumers for watching ads, has filed for bankruptcy according to Kauppalehti. We covered the company just little over a year ago in March. Later last year I talked to the CEO Marko Parkkinen back then and he quoted them having 80 000 users. Apparently not everyone was paying the 29€ annual fee as it would have brought in revenue of over 2 million euros.
The company had a very respectable board including Marko Parkkinen a reknown marketing man in Finland, Seppo Sairanen known for making his wealth from the private banking corporation FIM (and having invested into Fruugo). Other members of the board include Lauri Hulkko and Ilkka Seppälä. One thing that does surprise me is the resignation of Parkkinen as the CEO just 15 days before filing for bankruptcy. He had resigned the position on the 15th of June 2009 and the company had filed for bankruptcy on the 30th of June, 2009.
While it is never good to see startups going belly up, you have to admit and give it to people for trying. However, despite encouraging entrepreneurs – this is one idea that I never saw taking off, even in my wildest dreams. I remember talking to Parkkinen about the future of NewsToScreen and he was optimistic about the new course they had been taking with licensing the service to large corporations as a tool for communication. Needless to say, marketing without understanding the fundamentals of business does not work very well.