Livewire Mobile acquires FoneStarz Media Group

US mobile music and content company Livewire Mobile, has acquired FoneStarz Media Group, a UK based mobile digital storefront and mobile content supplier.

The combination of the two companies provides a broad content-offering that includes application distribution, ringback, full-track music, video, advertising, ringtones, images and games. Furthermore, the acquisition expands Livewire Mobile’s market reach to more than 400 million subscribers at over 40 mobile operators in nearly 30 countries, providing one of the most comprehensive one-stop digital content solutions for carriers, handset manufacturers and other media companies entering the mobile content market.

Based in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, FoneStarz has a successful track record of retailing mobile entertainment content for mobile network operators. It manages cutting edge digital content services, from its proprietary merchandising and delivery platform for 11 mobile operators in eight countries around the world.

FoneStarz services are currently deployed with premier operators including Vodafone, Hutchison 3 and O2 in countries including the U.K., Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, New Zealand, South Africa and Egypt. It works with a number of other Tier 1 and 2 operators and has content aggregation agreements with handset manufacturers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG, and content licenses with more than 140 media companies, including Disney, Playboy, Turner, American Greetings and Manchester United.

Livewire Mobile plans to incorporate the FoneStarz platform into its InfuseTM integrated storefront solution for mobile operators, as well as its recently launched MediadromeTM direct-to-consumer music service.

Together, the companies bring extensive global experience and market-leading technical infrastructures, providing a platform for rapid strategic growth in new and existing territories and positioning them alongside firms such as Motricity, RealNetworks and Zed in the fast-growing mobile content market. The management team is headed up by Matthew Stecker, CEO, Livewire Mobile and Dave Moreau, CEO and founder of FoneStarz, who will become COO of the combined company. They intend to grow the combined business by exploiting its product set and extending services across six continents. 

“As we stated earlier this year, we refocused our company resources toward providing our global partners and customers with an innovative suite of products and end-to-end services,” said Mr. Stecker. “Now, with this combination of two complementary companies, we are creating an even stronger organization with a broadened product suite, improved service and support worldwide and increased cross-selling opportunities to an expanded customer base.”

Mr. Moreau added: “We spent some time looking for a partner that offered a strategic fit in terms of product roadmap and territorial expansion. Scale is vital in this fast moving, global market and we believe Livewire Mobile and FoneStarz together will be able to provide a preeminent digital solution for mobile network operators, handset manufacturers and media businesses.”

USA, Littleton, MA & UK, Cambridgeshire

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