A company called Verve Wireless believes the secret to the newspaper's survival may be the 95 million mobile phone users who subscribe to the Internet:
Verve Wireless believes it can save the dying local newspaper by making it mobile. It offers publishers the technology to create Web sites for cellphones. The company, based in Encinitas, Calif., already provides mobile versions of 4,000 newspapers from 140 publishers . . . The Associated Press, its biggest customer, is betting that Verve has the solution to the nagging problem of dwindling print readership. It led a $3 million round of financing in Verve, a rare investment for the news organization.In exchange for a cut of the newspaper's ad revenue, Verve builds a mobile website on which users can access their local news.
Publishers can upload local ads to their cellphone sites using Verve’s software or have Verve place national ad campaigns on their sites. Verve can deliver a particular ad to, say, people age 21 to 30 who live downtown and have searched for articles about the bar scene. Philadelphia Magazine, for example, sent readers of its Verve-developed Web site a text message offering $4 grapefruit cocktails and half-price appetizers at a local bar.
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