Livewire Mobile scoops up FoneStarz Media Group

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Digital music and content provider Livewire Mobile has acquired FoneStarz Media Group, which powers mobile content storefronts and related consumer experiences for operators, OEMs and branded media partners. Financial terms were not disclosed; FoneStarz founder and CEO will serve as COO, with Livewire CEO Matthew Stecker remaining in his current position. FoneStarz supplies proprietary merchandising and delivery platform solutions to 11 mobile operators in eight countries; carrier partners include Vodafone, Hutchison 3 and O2--in addition, the firm boasts content aggregation deals with handset makers Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG, as well as content licensing deals with media companies like Disney, Playboy and American Greetings.

With the addition of FoneStarz, Livewire's market reach extends to over 400 million subscribers at more than 40 mobile operators in nearly 30 countries--the firms' combined content offering spans application distribution, ringbacks, full-track music, video, advertising, ringtones, images and games.

Earlier this year, Livewire Mobile introduced Mediadrome, a customizable online and mobile service enabling recording artists and labels to sell digital media like full-track downloads, ringtones and videos as well as physical merchandise directly to fans. The Mediadrome launched followed on the heels of RingSpot, an opt-in service enabling consumers to replace the ring callers hear with marketing messages supplied by national advertisers, nonprofits and local retailers.

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