NYC-based mobile content company Thumbplay has signed on to provide ringtones and more for Time Warner’s AOL. A release notes that the Thumbplay content will be integrated into AOL Music, AIM, Winamp (still big in Europe, apparently) etc.
Without a clearer sense of the financials, it’s hard to say how big a deal this is for Thumbplay, but it’s potentially important: The first wave of ringtone companies — i.e., Zingy — were middlemen between music labels and carriers and were quickly bypassed. Thumbplay’s strategy is to establish itself as an “off-deck” destination — i.e., not dependent on the carriers for business — and getting itself in front of AOL’s customers can’t be a bad thing.
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