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nReach, Merit partner for mobile content vending

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.-SmartServ Online Inc. said its subsidiary nReach has partnered with Merit Industries to introduce self-serve mobile content vending machine products nationwide.

nReach provides mobile ring tones, graphics, games and applications. Merit is a touchscreen entertainment devices company.

The vending machines will feature licensed content such as ring tones from American Idol, The Matrix, Eminem, Britney Spears, 50 Cent, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and Frank Sinatra. They also will include images as well as games, such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and NHL Power Shot Hockey. The machines will allow customers to sample and purchase the content using Merit’s touchscreen technology. Once the customer has completed the purchase, the product is sent over the air to their mobile phone.

“Personalizing mobile phones was previously only available through a phone handset or the Web, which limited opportunities for consumers and content owners,” said Mike Stemple, nReach’s president and founder. “nReach vending machines will create new revenue opportunities for content owners-movie distributors, record companies and game developers-by reaching customers with ring tones, graphics and games who would not otherwise be exposed to such content.”

nReach said it plans to place its vending machines at wireless retailers, airports, train stations, restaurants and electronics stores. In addition, Merit has about 6,000 existing amusement machines that are capable of delivering nReach’s content.

Samples of the mobile content vending machines are on display at CTIA Wireless 2004 in Atlanta.

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