TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: New Services Link Mobile Users to Online Magazines

New Services Link Mobile Users to Online Magazines

Lisa Minter (
Thu, 9 Jun 2005 22:08:10 -0500

Two companies are combining online-only glossy magazines with mobile short
message texting services to link mobile handset users to Internet
publications even when they are not online. The companies -- Norwegian
publisher Fast Forward Media Group and Belgian technology company
Allisblue -- presented their new ways of connecting consumers to
publications on Thursday at a conference of European publishers.

Many of the publishers are struggling to find ways to earn money on
the Internet, which is luring away readers of their print

With the new combination, consumers on the go will be able to send
keywords to a short telephone number from their handsets, after which
they will be sent emails with links to magazines they have requested,
the two companies said.

The animated magazines, which can be leafed through like real
magazines, feature links to music, film and other multimedia content,
which is sponsored by advertisers or which can be bought and paid for
from the mobile phone account. Fast Forward Media said it would start
the service with free online magazines such as
It expected to add more keywords, enabling consumers to compile
tailored magazines and messages.

Allisblue provides patented SMS-to-email technology, which allows
consumers to send text messages instantly after picking up keywords
from friends, billboards or on the radio and then find links to
magazines in their email inboxes when they log on.

"Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and 70 percent have email
addresses, but outside the office, 18 to 35 years olds are only online
for an average 35 minutes a day. The rest of the time they're in the
real world, carrying a mobile. This connects them to the online
world," said Allisblue Chief Executive Eric Delfosse.

He said he was talking to three venture capitalist firms about
additional funds to boost expansion of this service.

Allisblue is starting in Belgium on short dial 3699 and will bring the
service to other European countries. Telecoms operators can also
expect to get a cut from the premium SMS services.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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