News Corp. downplays MySpace; pushes Simpsons

In his CTIA Keynote address, News Corp. president and COO Peter Chernin significantly downplayed the MySpace mobile effort in favor of the Simpsons. The deal on the MySpace mobile application is that News Corp. indeed does want to offer a mobile interface to the MySpace community that is available to all mobile subscribers, not just those with whom it has existing relationships. Those carriers include Cingular Wireless and Helio. As part of that effort, News Corp. has tapped UIEvolution to develop a common user interface to the service that can work on any carrier, and there will likely be a direct-to-consumer outreach once it's developed. However, there is no information as to when this interface will be ready or how exactly it will be rolled out. Meanwhile, News Corp. instead went mobile with the Simpsons--offering ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers and video exclusively through the Jamba/Jamster service, of which the company now owns a controlling interest. Chernin said News Corp. will "market the hell out of it." If true, and effective, it may be the marketing of the Simpsons Mobile service that in fact helps educate the market on D2C. However, it will have to be a much bigger promotion than what we've seen to date supporting the Mobizzo service. Simpsons Mobile is expected to launch sometime later this year. Pricing has not yet been revealed, but it sounds like it will be a subscription service of some type. -Antony