'American Idol' sets a record for text messaging

MUMBAI: US broadcaster Fox's music based reality show American Idol is a great example of how the mobile can be used to create a strong connect with the viewer.

US mobile service provider Cingular Wireless has announced that it has set a new record for wireless text messaging in the fourth season of American Idol.


The company recorded more than 41.5 million text messages throughout the show's 12-week voting period, which is believed to represent the largest volume of text messaging in a single campaign in the history of the US wireless industry.



The number of text messages in the fourth season of American Idol more than tripled the amount of text messages recorded in the 2004 season. Text messages included votes, trivia, sweepstakes entries, TXT chats, fan club and vote number reminders.

This year, Cingular's 50 million customers had the opportunity to vote each week via text messaging for their favourite American Idol contestants, compared to 21 million customers in 2004 that were a part of AT&T Wireless.

Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless in October 2004. Cingular Wireless VP sponsorships John Burbank said, "The fourth season of 'American Idol' has helped to spur a wireless text messaging boom. Cingular's success with American Idol shows that texting is becoming as common as talking on wireless phones. Our

continued success with American Idol validates our view that consumers will embrace advanced wireless services like text messaging if you give them a compelling reason to do so."

Cingular customers had exclusive wireless access to American Idol throughout the season. It brough in new services such as TXT chats with the Idol contestants, and convenient vote number reminders that listed all of the contestants who had performed that week.

In addition, Cingular customers could connect to the show with Idol Wireless Fan Club to keep up with the latest Idol news, play Idol Trivia on

their wireless devices or download American Idol related ringtones such as the show's theme song, or songs from past favorites Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard or Fantasia.

Mobliss provided the key technology behind American Idol text voting, the Idol Wireless Fan Club, and mobile vote reminder messages. This is Mobliss' third consecutive year of powering text voting for American Idol. The company was awarded the "Best Wireless Campaign of 2004" at the Ad:Tech awards in November 2004 for their interactive American Idol Season Three campaign.

Cingular Wireless claims to be the largest wireless carrier in the US.

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