Livewire Buys Fonestarz

Livewire Mobile, which specializes in mobile music and content, has bought FoneStarz Media Group, a UK-based mobile digital storefront and mobile content supplier, which works with many large telecom and media brands. FoneStarz manages digital content services from its proprietary merchandising and delivery platform for 11 mobile operators in eight countries around the world. These include Vodafone, Hutchison 3 and O2 in countries including the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, New Zealand, S. Africa and Egypt. Fonestarz also has content aggregation agreements with handset makers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG, and content licenses with more than 140 media companies, including Disney, Playboy, Turner and Manchester United.

Livewire Mobile says it plans to incorporate the FoneStarz platform into its Infuse integrated storefront solution for mobile operators, as well as its recently-launched Mediadrome direct-to-consumer music service.

The two companies’ combined offering includes application distribution, ringback tones, full-track music, video, advertising, ringtones, images and games. The acquisition also expands Livewire Mobile’s market reach to more than 400m subscribers at over 40 mobile operators in almost 30 countries. The management team is headed up by Matthew Stecker, CEO, Livewire Mobile and Dave Moreau, CEO and founder of FoneStarz, who will become COO of the combined company. They intend to grow the combined business by exploiting its product set and extending services across six continents. 

“As we stated earlier this year, we refocused our company resources toward providing our global partners and customers with an innovative suite of products and end-to-end services,” says Stecker. “Now, with this combination of two complementary companies, we are creating an even stronger organization, with a broadened product suite, improved service and support worldwide and increased cross-selling opportunities to an expanded customer base.”