Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ericsson IPX Mobile Payments For Danish Campfire

Campfire is a Danish startup, founded in 2007. The company offers cartoons to mobile handsets under a service called Catooz. And not just any cartoons, but licensed ones from Marvel. Campfire signed a deal with Marvel in October last year. Right now there are strips of Xmen, Spiderman, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, etc. The service is currently available in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany.

Campfire provides a Java client for accessing Catooz, the installing of which is smooth. The comics are distributed in multiple small packages, “chapters”. Each chapter might cover around couple of pages of a physical magazine and is downloaded over-the-air. There is one free “chapter” of each comic as an introduction and a teaser to the service. You can buy more chapters easily from within the mobile client. However, the single chapters are really overpriced at EUR 2 (USD 2,69), considering you only get only a few of minutes’ worth of reading, and there are apparently 6 chapters per story. The purchase process works smoothly, though: you press ‘Yes’ to confirm, and you’ll instantly start reading the strip. The payment system appears to be implemented over Ericsson IPX, so being SMS-based might explain the high pricepoint. Luckily, Catooz also offers a basic monthly subscription at EUR 4 per month, which is much better deal. With the basic subscription you can read all comics which have been published over a month ago. There is also offer a premium subscription at EUR 8 (USD 10,70) that allows unlimited access also to the latest comics. At the present time it seems only basic is available, though.

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