Initial Partners Include Entertainment Tonight and A&E; Television Networks
NEW YORK – February 5, 2008 – Thumbplay® (www.thumbplay.com), the largest and fastest growing mobile entertainment content destination in the U.S. (Nielsen Mobile, Q3 2007), today introduced a set of self-service, extensible tools to enable television content creators to rolltheir- own mobile entertainment content storefronts. In addition, Thumbplay announced the first broadcasters to take advantage of this offering: Entertainment Tonight and A&E; Television Networks (AETN).
Thumbplay’s toolkit allows broadcasters to create hosted mini-stores, widgets and search-base integration through which broadcasters’ Web sites can promote and sell mobile content, including ringtones, wallpaper, games and video clips. Requiring minimal resources for implementation, broadcasters can also create new sponsorship inventory on their web sites and tap into a new, lucrative revenue stream – selling their licensed content for download to mobile devices. In addition, broadcasters can cross-promote their brands and assets to Thumbplay`s subscriber base at Thumbplay.com and the company’s wide-range of syndication partners.
“Thumbplay makes it simple for broadcast and cable television content creators to execute profitable mobile strategies with no up-front investment,” said Are Traasdahl, Thumbplay’s CEO and founder. “We’re excited that premier media brands like Entertainment Tonight, A&E; Network®, The History Channel® and The Biography Channel® have turned to Thumbplay to effectively create and profit from the mobile entertainment content industry.”
Thumbplay offers visitors to etonline.com, the online property for Entertainment Tonight, the #1 entertainment news magazine show, complete access to the largest available catalog of mobile entertainment content (http://www.etonline.com/ringtones). Thumbplay’s mobile entertainment content is contextually featured throughout the site, so visitors can purchase and download relevant ringtones, wallpapers, games and video clips of their favorite celebrities and artists directly to their mobile phones.
For A&E; Television Networks, Thumbplay is building mobile entertainment content stores for three online properties: AETV.com, History.com and Biography.com. Ringtones and wallpaper for hit series and specials from A&E; Network, The History Channel and The Biography Channel will be available in stores on these Web sites, as well as through Special Feature boutique landing pages, category navigation and search on Thumbplay.com.
“The consumers who watch our television shows are very loyal and are eager to engage with our brands whenever and wherever they can,” said Paul Jelinek, Senior Vice President, Digital Media, AETN. “By partnering with Thumbplay, we’ve been able to quickly and easily create and sell relevant show and genre-based mobile content to the fans of our brands and programs, so they can access our content on the go, wherever they are.”
With more than 75,000 pieces of mobile entertainment content under license, including ringtones, wallpapers, games, videos, voice tones and text-based services, Thumbplay has built a strong consumer following and gained broad recognition as a leader in the direct-to-consumer mobile content space. During the last quarter of 2007, Thumbplay announced deals to integrate its mobile entertainment content catalog into the Web and mobile portals of AOL and MSN Mobile, as well as iLike and Qloud, two of the Web’s leading social music discovery services.
About A&E; Television Networks
A&E; Television Networks (AETN) is a joint venture of The Hearst Corporation, ABC, Inc. and NBC. AETN is an award-winning, international media company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television programming, magazine publishing, and web sites, to books, music CDs and home entertainment. A&E; Television Networks is comprised of A&E;® Network, The History Channel®, The Biography Channel®, History International®, The History Channel en español™, Military History Channel™, A&E; HD™, The History Channel HD™, The Biography Channel HD™, Crime & Investigation Network™, AETN International and AETN Consumer Products. AETN channels and programs are available in more than 135 countries to over 245 million TV households. The A&E; Network website is at AETV.com, The History Channel website is at History.com and The Biography Channel website is at Biography.com.
Thumbplay, Inc. is defining the mobile entertainment experience for U.S. consumers. As the largest and fastest growing mobile entertainment content destination, Thumbplay gives consumers access to the broadest and deepest catalog in the industry, spanning audio, video and gaming content from the leading music labels and artists, game publishers and media companies. Its innovative delivery and marketing platform makes it easy for users to discover, manage, store and share mobile content online and on their wireless devices.
Headquartered in New York City, Thumbplay was founded in September 2004 by Are Traasdahl and Evan Schwartz. It is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, SoftBank Capital, i-Hatch Ventures, Redwood Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Meritech. More information can be found at www.thumbplay.com.
Kaplow on behalf of Thumbplay