Red Circle Ireland has struck a deal to have its mobile entertainment content for the Irish market distributed and billed through the premium-rate mobile services provider Opera Telecom.
Red Circle develops a range of content types such as ringtones, logos, graphics and Java games, which it advertises through different consumer brands in Irish magazines and the press. The content can be bought in one of two ways: by sending a text message to a premium-rate text message short code or by phoning a premium-rate number.
Under the terms of the deal, Opera Telecom will handle the billing and distribution of this content on a zero-cost-of-entry, revenue-sharing basis. According to Red Circle chief operating officer Cathal Fay, the deal will allow the company to concentrate on its core business of developing mobile content, with Opera handling the task of dealing with the mobile operators. This part of the service can be cumbersome as it involves setting up interfaces to each operator’s network. “This deal allows us to concentrate on what we’re good at,” said Fay.
Red Circle employs 12 staff at its offices in Dun Laoghaire. The company was originally established four years ago as a speech recognition specialist but it has since moved into the area of mobile content development. The company operates in Ireland and the UK, and has plans to expand internationally over the coming years.
Its background originally allowed it to develop voice-activated systems where users would call a number to order ringtones or logos. The company has been able to integrate this expertise into its current services. For example, after being prompted by an answering machine, users could say the word “Beatles” and the system would recognise this and send a Beatles ringtone to the customer’s phone.
By Gordon Smith