CTIA: Mobile Content Consolidation
The biggest news on the first day of the fall CTIA trade show has been a couple of significant mobile content deals: News Corp. will buy 51 percent of Jamba from VeriSign, while RealNetworks will pay $350 million to buy South Korea-based mobile content platform provider WiderThan for about $350 million. The News Corp. deal makes sense: Jamba was about VeriSign’s only significant existing consumer-facing business, and the company will maintain its content delivery infrastructure; News Corp. has been trying to build up its mobile content business through its new venture Mobizzo. Adding Jamba’s revenues will help offset the losses from Mobizzo, as well as uniting Jamba’s significant existing catalog of licensed content with News Corp.’s trove of entertainment brands. The Real-WiderThan deal looks like it’s based on Real’s desire to get into the mobile music download business in a meaningful way, as well as adding a number of carrier customers in Asia. These deals highlight the potential for consolidation in the mobile content space; there’s room for a lot more.