The companies--Norwegian publisher Fast Forward Media Group and Belgian technology company Allisblue--presented their new ways of connecting consumers to publications on Thursday at a conference of European publishers.
Many of the publishers are struggling to find ways to earn money on the Internet, which is luring away readers of their print publications.
With the new combination, consumers on the go will be able to send keywords to a short telephone number from their handsets, after which they will be sent e-mails with links to magazines they have requested, the two companies said.
The animated magazines, which can be leafed through like real magazines, feature links to music, film and other multimedia content, which is sponsored by advertisers or which can be bought and paid for from the mobile phone account. Fast Forward Media said it would start the service with free online magazines such as PlayMusicMagazine.com. It expected to add more keywords, enabling consumers to compile tailored magazines and messages.
Allisblue provides patented SMS-to-e-mail technology, which allows consumers to send text messages instantly after picking up keywords from friends, billboards or on the radio and then find links to magazines in their e-mail inboxes when they log on.
Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and 70 percent have e-mail addresses, but outside the office, users ranging in age from 18 to 35 are online for an average of only 35 minutes a day, said Allisblue Chief Executive Eric Delfosse. "The rest of the time they're in the real world, carrying a mobile. This connects them to the online world."
Delfosse said he was talking to three venture capitalist firms about additional funds to boost expansion of this service.
Allisblue is starting in Belgium on short-dial 3699 and will bring the service to other European countries. Telecom operators also can expect to get a cut from the premium SMS services.