Wireless Watch for June 11, 2004

Cingular’s Voter Outreach

Mobile operator Cingular is aggregating partnerships with MTV, Motorola and Comedy Central as part of a wireless outreach effort intended to increase young voter turnout in the 2004 general election.

The carrier will offer SMS alerts in the form of campaign news, polls and calls to action through partnerships with MTV’s “Choose or Lose 2004” programming; Comedy Central and its “Indecision 2004” programming; and Motorola through its “Rock The Vote” initiatives.

“Cingular is excited to help young voters get more involved in the 2004 presidential election, and ultimately, exercise their right to vote,” said Marc Lefar, Cingular’s chief marketing officer. “We are satisfied that we have found ways to use wireless technology in educating and engaging young Americans in the democratic process.”

Def Jam Enters Mobile Space

Def Jam Records is setting up a mobile content division in conjunction with AG Interactive. Def Jam Mobile will provide the content, which AG Interactive, a subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation, will distribute and market in the mobile arena.

“The buying power of the hip hop generation has evolved into a multibillion dollar economic force,” said Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. “We’re confident Def Jam Mobile will bring the most desirable, targeted mobile content to the core, hip hop demographic.”

Virgin Mobile, UMG in Exclusive ‘Realtones’ Pact

Speaking of hip hop and mobile content, Virgin Mobile USA subscribers will get first access to “superphonic” ringtones from D12World, the new album by Detroit hip hop group Dirty Dozen. The MP3-like ringtones are also known as “realtones” and can cost up to $2.50 each.

The music-sharing deal comes through a partnership between Virgin Mobile and Universal Music Group, the label to which Dirty Dozen is signed. For the next three months, Virgin Mobile will be the only carrier to offer the ringtones from D12 World.

“Virgin Mobile provides its customer base with greater access to the artists they love, while UMG reaches out in a very creative new way to a base of extremely enthusiastic wireless content users and hip hop fans,” said Richard Branson, chairman of The Virgin Group, Virgin Mobile’s parent company.

Placing Ads into Mobile Games

Through a partnership with MauiGames, Enpocket is launching a new channel that will weave ads into the fabric of mobile phone games. The games offer static and dynamic advertising opportunities ranging from fixed billboard-style banners to integration with a game’s play. Ad placements can be targeted by time, geography and demographic variables.

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