Monday, May 4, 2009

Player X, Why Zed?...$15mil is the Answer

Mobile Entertainment is reporting this morning that the giant of all mobile entertainment companies Zed ($545mil 2007 Revs...self reported) is purchasing London-based publisher, distributor and on-carrier hosted portal provider Player X for £10mil ($15mil). Soon after Player X (backed by Arts Alliance & Nordic Venture Partners) emerged back in 2004 I called them "the new cool kid on the block," and they have been able to stay cool/relevant by (as you must do in this space) evolving their business model over time. They initially focused on games, but as that space became more commoditized and the carriers aggressively searched for video services to show-off their 3G networks, they created a groundbreaking made-for-mobile video channel offering called GeekTV or ZapperTV (depending on the market). Later they leveraged excellent distribution relationships with European operators to create a 3rd party distribution business and a hosted games portal called 100% Mobile on O2 & Telefonica. There is no word on how Player X will exist going forward within the growing universe of Zed...whose previously acquisitions include Monstermob, 9Squared, Mobitween, etc...but consensus is (and I agree) the Player X team will play a key role in Zed's continuing diversification away from D2C personalization.

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