Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So, Whatever Happened to Jamster 2.0?

What has become of Fox Mobile Group's & CEO Mauro Montanaro's big plans to reinvent, reinvigorate & (as we like to say in Hollywood) reimagine their moribund Jamster/Jamba D2C brand? It can't happen soon enough, as the content mix & traffic on, the US version of the subscription/breakage model tones, graphics & games site, seems to have totally stagnated (see chart below).

The company, which was founded in Berlin in 2000 as Jamba!, was once the revenue darling of the off-deck mobile content space...allegedly generating as much as $600mil in the Crazy Frog heyday of 2005. Fox put a major mobile stake in the ground in late 2006 when it bought a majority (51%) share in the company from VeriSign for ~$190mil, to combine it with its own nascent Mobizzo web-to-mobile brand. They bought the rest of it last October for an additional $200mil, announced a restructure of their mobile groups and teased the aforementioned plan to rebrand...which was originally supposed to happen in Q1 2009. Moconews diligently followed up with Montanaro at CES this January where he admitted that the plan was delayed by the economic meltdown, but that the relaunch was definitely slated for the first half of the year. It's been crickets since then...

I would think in this era of rapidly propagating App Store clones, fighting for mindshare & consumers, that Fox would be anxious to rapidly leverage their substantial investment in Jamster's infrastructure & customer acquisition through a more contemporary offering, if they ever want a shot at reclaiming a leadership position amongst mobile content retailers. I'm keeping my eyes & ears open over the coming weeks for clues that change is afoot.

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