More NewsWireless Watch for December 18, 2003

Wireless Watch for December 18, 2003

Enpocket secures new funding; Disney ups its stake in mobile content; Verizon Wireless: The Lord of the Ringtones.

Enpocket Secures New Funding

Mobile marketing player Enpocket has secured another round of funding from previous backers Nokia Venture Partners and GrandBanks Capital, and has attracted a new investor, New York-based Dolphin Equity.

The company will likely use the “multimillion-dollar” funding round for acquisitions and an expansion of international operations, executives said. Enpocket has already established offices in New York, London, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif. In October it acquired the assets of pioneering wireless marketer SkyGo.


Disney Ups Its Stake in Mobile Content

Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) launched a Web site promoting its wireless content offerings. Disneymobile.com will provide consumers with information on the latest downloadable content for phones, including games, graphics, ring tones, and Disney mobile greeting cards. The presence will also detail where to find the content within each carrier’s menu system.

Disney said consumers are becoming more familiar and comfortable with downloading mobile content, and the time is right to begin marketing directly to them, rather than relying on carrier distribution channels.

“We’ve seen significant growth in both consumer awareness and usage of our mobile content over the past year, primarily driven by carriers’ marketing efforts. We now believe the U.S. market has matured to a point that allows us to begin marketing directly to our customers,” said Larry Shapiro, EVP of business development and operations for WDIG.

Samsung is the exclusively advertised handset provider on DisneyMobile.com, and will have a significant presence on many of the site’s pages. Additionally, Samsung will coordinate product sweepstakes on Disneymobile.com, offering its latest wireless phones as prizes.


Verizon Wireless: The Lord of the Ringtones

Verizon Wireless and New Line Cinema have set up several “Return of the King” applications and promotions, including a game and a sweepstakes.

The nation’s largest wireless provider is holding a virtual tournament on its Get It Now service to accompany the launch of the final movie in the epic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Fans can battle to try to achieve the highest score, then upload their scores to compete with other players. One hundred dollars is awarded to the top scorer each week.

A separate “Txt2Win” Sweepstakes based around the movie offers prizes including a home entertainment system and camera phones. Verizon Wireless customers enter by sending an SMS message with the word “WIN” to an SMS short code by February 1st.

Subscribers can also opt in for text message alerts and download games, ringtones and wallpaper.

The two companies agreed to collaborate on promotions for the last two LOTR films back in November of 2002.

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