This morning, NMS Communications launched LiveWire Mobile as a new brand for our mobile applications business. I'm leery of re-branding exercises but this was long overdue as our mobile applications business is substantially different and independent of our traditional developer focused business. Now LiveWire Mobile is operating as a distinct division of NMS with this new logo:
LiveWire Mobile focuses on mobile personalization services, including our well established ringback tones business. That makes LiveWire Mobile a market leader from inception, as our ringback tone service is deployed with over 30 operators around the world. The most recently new operator announcement also came today — it's Virgin Mobile USA.
Mobile personalization services hit some years ago with ringtones and wall papers. Many think of ringtones as a content business, and yes, there is a content sale in many cases. But whether it's ringtones or ringback tones, the key motivation is the human desire to personalize our possessions and our environment.
Today, ringtones are widespread and revenue growth is slowing. However, ringback tones are still in the early growth phase, at least in Europe and North America. Ringback tone penetration is over 55% in Korea, but less than 10% in the US.
Besides the established ringback tones base, LiveWire Mobile has plans for additional network-based message and subscriber-focused personalization services — stay tuned.
UPDATED: Here's the link to a press release with more info (in PR prose...).