Rupert Murdoch is getting raves today with News Corp.'s purchase of a controlling stake in Jamba, a company that develops content for cell phones - and which is best known for developing that cackling "Crazy Frog" ringtone. While not nearly as big as his purchase of MySpace for $649 million, the Jamba deal shows how News Corp. is targeting specific bits of content that can be blended into its overall digital operations, much of which is based in Beverly Hills. Here's what News Corp. President Peter Chernin said in a news release:
This is an important step in News Corp.'s strategy of becoming the world's leading digital media company. We're the most powerful media company on the web with Fox Interactive Media, our aggressive digital content deals have given consumers access to News Corp. programming on every conceivable platform... Wireless technology gives us an enormous opportunity to reach billions of mobile phone users with our content. With this new venture we're looking forward to inventing new and compelling ways to engage this exciting new audience.
News Corp. will pay Jamba parent Verisign $188 million for a 51 percent stake. The two companies will then establish a joint venture of Jamba and Fox Mobile Entertainment. The JV, to be based in L.A. and Berlin, will be led by Lucy Hood, formerly president of Fox Mobile. Red Herring Business Wire NYT