Wireless Watch for February 26, 2004

Google Bows Wireless Support for Froogle

Google has introduced wireless support for Froogle, its still-in-beta shopping engine. Users wishing to do some comparison shopping on the go can direct their WML-enabled mobile phone to Froogle’s wireless site and enter search terms into a box there. The phone’s arrow buttons allow scrolling through results. WML, a shortening of “Wireless Markup Language” is a wireless cousin to HTML.

U.K. Radio Builds Listeners with SMS

Chrysalis Radio is releasing a mobile content management platform to let DJs and station managers build promotions and interact with listeners. Developed by Flytxt, the platform is being put in place to facilitate continued growth of the SMS-based relationships Chrysalis has built with listeners over the past 18 months.

In 2002, the company launched its Galaxy Text Maniacs and Heart Texters’ clubs, which it says have let it use promotions to drive listenership, reward listener loyalty and collect demographic info on its audience. Chrysalis now has 100,000 members in its mobile database, more than triple the number it had when it made Flytxt its mobile services provider in January 2003.

“Flytxt Direct has given our advertising teams even greater transparency on our listener profiles; it’s provided our DJs with another highly popular channel with which to interact, and get closer to our listeners, and it’s enabled our marketing teams to build mobile more holistically into our broader marketing program for the stations,” said Abigail Taylor, interactive services manager at Chrysalis Radio Interactive.

New Mobile Video Offering from Mobileway

A new mobile video service will let marketers and content owners disseminate video to Java-capable handset owners. The offering comes through a partnership between wireless services firm Mobileway and mobile video player Oplayo.

The platform supports encoding and conversion of video files; content hosting; branding of the player; video streaming and download management; and delivery of the video player and billing via premium SMS. Video can be either streamed or downloaded.

“This is a significant step forward and one which truly paves the way for the mobile phone to complement TV, radio and cinema as a unique broadcast channel,” said Mobileway CEO Russ Shaw.

The new offering could bring mobile video advertising closer to the mainstream. An international marketing campaign employing the service went live in early February, but the companies declined to share details.

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