WirelessWatch for August 18, 2003

Real, Sprint Push Mobile On-Demand Audio

Looking to jumpstart the U.S. market for mobile audio-on-demand content, Seattle-based RealNetworks has inked a deal with Sprint to shuttle audio streams to Sprint’s PCS Vision subscribers.

RealNetworks, which is already streaming live baseball broadcasts to cellphones nationwide, said it would deliver breaking news, market reports, sports highlights and weather forecasts to users of Sprint’s enhanced PCS network.

RealNetworks said the service would feature easy access to content via a “1 or 2 click” experience. The service will be limited to audio clips but there are plans to add on-demand-video clips sometime next year.

Sprint counts about 2.1 million subscribers for its add-on PCS Vision service.

Originally published on InternetNews.com, read the entire story here.

Zelos Finds Burgeoning MMS Use

The Zelos Group has found that the market for mobile-originated photo transmissions will grow from $10.3 million today to over $440 million in 2008.

“The utility of imaging is immediately obvious to a substantial portion of mobile subscribers,” said Seamus McAteer, senior analyst of the Zelos Group and author of the report. “Consumers will use images captured with camera handsets as a way to add visual context to communications, versus using them for a long-term memorial record.”

McAteer said that camera phones will not replace the need for digital cameras. Instead, they will be primarily used to provide a picture of a social situation, as well as to receive multimedia forms of entertainment.

“The proliferation of handsets that support multimedia messaging will provide another target for delivery of interactive media such as interactive horoscopes, and short animations that will satiate the mobile user’s desire for diversionary entertainment,” said McAteer.

Consumer willingness to send and receive pictures via their phones could mean there’s a market for a range of image-based wireless applications, from multimedia newsfeeds to marketing promotions with richer creative content.

Verizon Users Send a Million Pics

As if to support Zelos’ numbers, largest U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Wireless recently said it’s customers have shared more than one million picture messages since the service launched on July 8, the company said.

Picture messaging from Verizon Wireless lets customers snap a picture with their camera phone, enter a Verizon Wireless phone number or any e-mail address, type a text message, add a sound and hit send.

“Verizon Wireless customers are proving picture messaging is a fun and useful tool with enormous potential,” said John Stratton, VP and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.

Customers have the option to pay as they go for each picture message, $0.25 for each message sent or received, plus airtime, or select from bundled picture messaging service.

MindComet Launches a 3D Game for Palm OS

MindComet has designed and released a 3D, color golf game to demonstrate the corporate branding and licensing potential of the wireless medium.

The game includes a one- to -three player option, full club selection, a variety of hazards, an overhead view option, a scorecard and leader board. It’s the first commercial, interactive game the company has created for the Palm OS.

“Forward looking marketers recognize the PDA as an important vehicle for branded ‘advergames’ and a new tool to reach an affluent market,” said MindComet President Ted Murphy.

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