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What do you get when you take the greatest living rapper and the greatest hip hip producer. You get one hot album. Sign the petition and lets make it happen.

by kenn on 11/18/2004 10:54:00 AM

ThumbPlay Launches Mobile Concert Promo With Jay-Z; Announces Investment By Leading Wireless Venture Firm i-Hatch Ventures


i-Hatch Ventures Leads Investment in Mobile Media Firm; ThumbPlay Delivers Solutions for Media Firms, Innovative Content for Consumers

ThumbPlay, a new venture that will deliver innovative wireless content to a wide variety of networks and devices, today launched its business with a groundbreaking music-industry wireless campaign with noted rapper Jay-Z.

The firm, headed by mobile media experts, will be headquartered in New York City, and will serve the needs of the growing mobile media industry, enabling television producers, music artists and producers, film and Internet producers, mobile handset manufacturers, retailers, and mobile operators to deliver mobile content in creative promotional packages that can be programmed over any wireless network and any mobile device. ThumbPlay, which is backed by i-Hatch Ventures and Redwood Partners, will eventually produce a consumer media portal, which will enable users to download content, regardless of network of handset.

In an innovative in-venue campaign, ThumbPlay has partnered up with Swagger Wireless, a leading mobile marketing promotions and production firm, to provide concertgoers to the current national 'Jay-Z and Friends' tour with an on-screen chat application, in which text messages are displayed on large video screens installed in the concert venues. ThumbPlay and Swagger Wireless have created the first travelling text-to-big screen application, which enables marketers to develop truly interactive promotional programs with consumers.

The application covers all major U.S. carriers, at a cost of 99 cents per message sent up to the big screen. The promotion runs for 30 minutes before each of the 40 concerts on the current U.S. Jay-Z tour, providing a revenue source for the artist as well as a fun, interactive promotional program for audience members.

"We wanted to create a promotion that offered something new for the fans, offering a means of interacting with each other in a playful way. The response from the audience has been unbelievable, another sign that the U.S. wireless entertainment market continues to demonstrate steady growth patterns," said Are Traasdahl, the president and founder of ThumbPlay.

"The first travelling text to big screen application illustrates that, as long as you have the audience in the palms of your hands, you can deliver something directly to the palms of their hands, too," said Briant Biggs, the CEO and founder of Swagger Wireless.

According to In-Stat/MDR, the U.S. market will not reach double-digit penetration for multimedia message service (MMS) penetration and mobile instant messaging (IM) until 2007. The ThumbPlay suite of offerings, available on all wireless networks and devices, should significantly increase this usage.

"The mobile content industry in the U.S. in 2004 is somewhere along the lines of where the Internet was in 1994; an exciting, early stage with tremendous opportunity for the right players," said Brad Farkas, General Partner of i-Hatch Ventures and a director of ThumbPlay. "We believe that ThumbPlay has crystallized a business plan that offers business partners and consumers a wide range of mobile content services with the highest levels of execution."

ThumbPlay has a content management system that enables video, audio, and text to be delivered through all channels and networks, and can be seamlessly billed through participating mobile carriers, enabling greater revenue shares for its partners.

"There are few early-stage technology ventures that have instantly captured a new phase of a growing industry as strongly as ThumbPlay," said Michael Flannery, senior managing partner of Redwood Partners, and an advisor to ThumbPlay.

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