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Mobile content site offers chance to bypass operators

Call me Mr 30 per cent

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Kiwi-based Voeveo will flick the switch tonight on a portal where anyone can upload mobile content and charge people to download it, in return for 30 per cent of the sale price.

The idea is to encourage more buyers to turn seller; with payments made as soon as a seller shifts £20 worth of content, the site is clearly aimed at non-professionals. The cut, at 30 per cent, compares well in an industry which generally takes between 40 and 60 per cent and often imposes strict conditions on the kinds of content and how it operates.

A site like Handango, for example, will demand that applications hosted on its service make no reference to alternative download sites, even if they offer in-application links to additional modules or upgrades - all those links must go back to Handango.

Voeveo is trying to be more laid back about things, allowing anyone to upload anything (though not adult content - it's not that kind of service) and set any price they like, with 49 pence as a minimum. Buyers can use PayPal, Google Checkout, or old-fashioned credit cards, with the seller receiving their cut when the total rises above £20.

Despite having a name which sounds like the first line from the Lexx theme, the site is nicely designed, though parts of it aren't working yet (the official launch isn't until this evening) and it's worked hard to fill it up with (apparently) 60,000 bits of content.

The addition of another download portal is welcome, especially one which focuses on small publishers and mobile content, but it won't be easy for Voeveo to generate enough brand awareness to bring traffic to its site.

Handango and Motricity operate an effective duopoly on mobile phone applications, though operator and manufacturer portals are challenging that, and Voeveo could offer an interesting alternative if it can create enough interest quickly. ®

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