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Jamba! is a mobile phone content provider, based in Berlin, Germany. In China and the company's English-speaking markets, currently Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, the company trades under the name Jamster!.

Jamba!'s main line of business is the creation and marketing of ringtones for mobile phones. It is perhaps best known for the Sweety the Chick and Crazy Frog characters. The company also sells insurance for mobile phones and home electronics and runs online gaming and online dating services. In 2005 it started doing business in the United States and China.

History

The company was founded in Berlin's Kreuzberg district in 2000.

VeriSign was a successful internet security company that had a series of product lines that connected mobile network companies' text message networks together securely - in 2004, about 3 billion per day. VeriSign CEO Stratton Sclavos recognised that with VoIP products developing, the revenues could decrease, and so he hired Vernon Irvin as Executive Vice President and General Manager of VeriSign’s Communications Services division to solve the problem. Irvin saw good but technical and expensive products, but saw the volumes of exchange over the system as the solution.

In late 2004 under Irvin's direction, VeriSign bought Jamba for $270 million. Jamba at the time built mobile applications, games, ringtones and wallpapers, and was also in over 40 countries worldwide. The VeriSign team had recognised that there were twice as many mobile phones than computers, which also had built-in computer technology. Effectively, VeriSign now had a new content distribution platform which also integrated with the internet, which was both secure and auditable - now all they needed was the content.

VeriSign relocated Jamba's HQ Office to the well known Dom Aquarée in the center of Berlin.

While Irvin sourced content, Jamba became Jamster in the United States. Irvin struck a deal with Kevin Liles, President of Warner Music Group, to provide mobile consumers with early access to hip-hop artist Mike Jones' debut album "Who Is Mike Jones?" - in return, Jones created the first artist-endorsed Jamster ring-tone advertisement in the US. When "Who is Mike Jones" was released it debuted among the top 5 albums on the Billboard charts and went on to sell over a million copies. The Crazy Frog ring tone did the same in Europe.

Jamba/Jamster boomed - when VeriSign bought the business it had a turnover of $15 million per quarter and 3 quarters later this increased to $150 million a quarter - in 2005 the company made close to $600 million in revenue. VeriSign expanded Jamba/Jamster by the acquisitions of UNC-Embratel and Unimobile. Jamster also added to its revenues by adding "impulse purchasing" - when you downloaded one ringtone, you were offered others. This turned into interactive advertising, for which the mobile owner was charged, sometimes unknowingly. This created controversy in Europe, and was quickly withdrawn.

Later developments included finding the next American supermodel in liaison with L'Oreal, where people sent in pictures; while VeriSign Back-Up means that if your mobile phone was stolen, you could re-download the MP3 music tracks to your replacement handset.

On 12 September 2006 News Corporation announced it will pay approximately $188 million for 51% shares in Jamba! and would combine it with Fox Mobile Entertainment assets[2], such as Mobizzo, with Lucy Hood, formerly President of Fox Mobile Entertainment, becoming CEO of the joint venture. On 23 October 2006 it was announced that Vernon Irvin would join XM Satellite Radio as Chief Marketing Officer (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

About Jamster.

Jamster is Europe\'s leading provider of mobile entertainment with a wide choice of mobile phone downloads: polyphonic and monophonic ringtones, real music tones, true tones, mobile phone java games, colour wallpapers, animated screensavers, colour backgrounds, mobile video, mobile karaoke, colour logos, mobile phone themes, operator logos, picture messages, SMS and MMS info channels, sexy downloads and much more.

Voted for by a panel of over 300 mobile industry executives, Jamster has been awarded the title of Best D2C Aggregator for 2006, for the revolutionary Crazy Frog advertising campaign by Mobile Entertainment magazine. Tim Green, executive editor of Mobile Entertainment, said: "These awards recognised the talent and hard work that is making mobile content the world\'s most exciting new industry. It was a truly amazing night and we look forward to doing it all again next year - in a bigger room."

Winning the Best D2C Aggregator 2006 shows successful marketing and overall awareness for driving mobile entertainment in the industry. It also proves Jamster\'s creativity in approaching and making the most of its available resources.

Thomas Richter, Senior Content Manager of Jamster, said: "Thank you all, this means really a lot to the boys back in the office. And it seems to me, you want more Crazy Frog commercials."

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