Beacon Journal | 04/17/2006 | Content creators bypass carriers:
"Companies go right to consumer to sell ring tones, games
By Ryan Nakashima
LAS VEGAS - As commerce quickly goes mobile, some companies are finding the best way to sell ring tones, games and other entertainment on the move is to market straight to consumers.
Smaller companies are doing an end-run around carriers like Verizon Wireless or Cingular Wireless LLC by turning to bricks-and-mortar stores or off-line promotions, thus avoiding the fees associated with placement on mainstream mobile portal sites.
For San Jose, Calif.-based PlayPhone Inc., that means selling $5-$20 prepaid cards for buying ring tones, games, wallpaper and music videos.
The cards are sold at stores like Sears Holdings Corp.'s Kmart, GameStop Corp.'s EB Games, Rite Aid Corp. drug stores and Musicland Holding Corp.'s Sam Goody.
``It's actually a convenient way, because if you walk out of the store and you bought one of the cards, you can walk right out, type `goplayp.com,' it'll connect to the browser,'' said Darryl Williams, PlayPhone's director of operations, explaining the company's display at the recent CTIA Wireless 2006 convention.
By logging on to a Web site from either a mobile phone or computer and entering the code number on the card, buyers can use credits to send content to their phones or a friend's."
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