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.

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crypto says:

monetizing content

First the content provider access to the potential users/subscriber has been arduous. Second the carrier networks do not monetize the value or participate in a fluid manner.

This is why Verisign originally purchased a content provider.. I know of a content provider a few years ago that wasn’t paid by the carrier for delivering 7 digits worth of product. They were told by the carrier that the end subscriber had been billed for the service and the carrier collected it but they weren’t sure where the $ were and a method to audit the transactions. VeriSign’s entry minimally was provide the monetization and settlement of these transactions. Someone that the carriers respected. I agree that VeriSign’s holding to date haven’t been content or providers. Just the Enabler in-between. Once this payement system was established between the content and network provider they stepped out.

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