Wireless Watch for August 26, 2004

Madonna Opens Mobile Storefront

Madonna has launched a mobile storefront selling ringtones and other wireless content. The content channel is powered by m-Qube and accessible through Madonna.com. Fans can either purchase ringtones and images directly from that site, or supply a phone number and be billed by their wireless providers.

“Madonna sees the future of the music business tied intimately to the wireless space and doing this deal is the first step of many to utilize the robust capabilities of mobile phones,” said Caresse Henry, Madonna’s manager.

Two Carriers Announce MMS Interoperability

Cingular and AT&T Wireless have entered a multimedia messaging service (MMS) interoperability deal, the first to be struck in the U.S. The agreement means subscribers on both carriers’ networks will be able to share photos, animations, voice messages, music files and video clips.

Industry-wide MMS interoperability is a key step in the adoption of the sending format among cell phone subscribers, which in turn may lead to a greater willingness among marketers to include richer elements in their mobile campaigns.

A Teen Panel for Mobile Marketers

A new teen research panel aims to give marketers feedback on their wireless campaign ideas. The U.S.-based initiative, called Mobile Youth IQ (MYIQ), is the result of a partnership between mobile marketing firms Enpocket and North Castle Nextstep.

The panel is made up of 12- to 22-year-olds, who hold forth on their opinions of various brands and campaigns that make use of the wireless medium. In addition to customized offerings, MYIQ will issue reports summarizing the panel’s attitude on a range of mobile-related topics. Presented in newsletter form and published six times per year, the information will be made available by subscription.

“We’re excited to work with North Castle Nextstep in an effort to further educate marketers on how to effectively target the youth market,” said Jonathon Linner, CEO at Enpocket.

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