Comic creator goes mobile

03 May 2007

The rising popularity of mobile phones and smart mobile devices around the world has whetted the appetite of many service providers anxious to build new revenue streams from existing Web content. That's one reason a recent agreement between mobile Internet provider Bango and Platinum Studios, a Los Angeles-based entertainment media company, is so interesting. It will deliver comic book adventures to the mobile phone, which is sure to excite comic book aficionados. And it creates another revenue stream for mobile service providers.

Bango, based in the UK and counts mobile operators such as AT&T Wireless, Orange, Vodafone, Telefonica and O2 among its client base, is powering Platinum Studio Mobile's Web site, which features sounds, images, wallpaper and content from Platinum's library and from independent comics like 'Blood Nation','Cowboys & Aliens' and the recently introduced KISS Comics Group debut comic, 'KISS 4K: Legends Never Die' (which is based on the mythology surrounding legendary rock band KISS). The agreement also means content from the Web's leading comics community,, is also going mobile.

According to Bango, consumers on any mobile network anywhere in the world are able to browse Platinum Studios' content and make purchases via their phone bill, by credit card, or through PayPal.

'With Platinum Studios diverse library of comic book characters from all over the world, we needed to be able to deliver our content everywhere our consumers are and with a technology provider which understood the worldwide mobile network complexity,' says Howard Brodwin, head of Platinum Studios' digital publishing group. 'We found both in Bango.'

Brodwin adds that analysts predict there will be 3.2 billion mobile users around the world by next year. More than one-third of them have Internet access. 'Millions of comic book fans with a mobile phone will have the opportunity to discover, connect and download their favorite comic characters via the mobile Web,' Brodwin adds.

Studying China

He says the service is already operating in the US and Europe but isn't yet being widely marketed. Platinum Studios is in discussions with a large, unidentified Chinese mobile carrier, and Brodwin anticipates Asian mobile users will access the service by year's end.

'With the Chinese carrier, we are looking at which of our properties can be translated into the market,' Brodwin explains. 'We are reviewing our products and getting feedback.' He expects that the comic book service will be initially popular in the US and European markets, largely because the company's library of content includes comics from Awesome Comics, France's Hexagon Comics and Italy's Bonelli Comics.

'As more and more people across the globe use their mobile phone to access the mobile Web, it creates new opportunities and sources of revenue for companies like Platinum Studios,' adds Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango.

Using Bango Web Trigger technology, comic fans can purchase image and sound downloads from Platinum Studios Mobile in one seamless step from anywhere in the world. Brodwin says the revenue generated is divided on a percentage basis between Platinum and the mobile carriers, with the percentages varying by carrier.

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