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Simpsons mobile content to sell direct

Network operators bypassed. D'oh!

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As hype for the Simpsons movie builds up, Jamba has announced that mobile content to go with the film will only be available from its subscription portal.

The so-called "Yellow Plan" will be available in the US in the next few days for $10 a month, for which punters get credit for six downloads from a selection of voice tones, wallpapers, and ringtones. Later, there'll be video and access to the inevitable game, Minutes to Meltdown, which is coming from EA Games.

The Simpsons and Jamba are the property of News Corporation, which will use its media presence to promote the service using adverts on Fox TV, web banners, inserts into DVDs, and in-cinema billboards.

"In terms of subscriber acquisition we don't expect to have a huge on-air advertising push. We expect to generate most of our traffic from other Simpsons and News Corp online destinations and from the compelling nature of brand itself," Jamba COO Lee Fento said.

This will certainly be the most ambitious attempt to bypass the network operators in selling content, creating a direct billing relationship with customers, and would only be possible with the biggest of brands.

In Europe, the Simpsons content will likely come as part of a Jamba subscription - there'll be no Yellow Plan over here, but there'll be no operator deals this side of the pond either.

Brands don't get much bigger than The Simpsons so there seems little reason to think Jamba won't be successful. Then, perhaps, a Simpsons MVNO to follow? ®

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