Amp'd Mobile Subscribers Grew 70% In 1Q To 175,000

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NEW YORK (AP) Amp'd Mobile reported Tuesday that subscribers to its youth oriented entertainment heavy cellphone service grew nearly 70% in the first quarter to about 175 000 customers.

The company, whose backers include Qualcomm and Viacom, said it signed up 84,000 new subscribers during the first three months of 2007. That compares with roughly 70,000 sign-ups in the fourth quarter.

The first-quarter gain was offset by the loss of 2,000 to 3,000 from customers closing their accounts each month, a monthly "churn" rate in the range of 2.5%, the company told the Associated Press.

Amp'd, which recently launched its service in Japan and Canada, declined to provide its precise customer tallies for the U.S. market. It also doesn't disclose overall revenue or profitability figures. In early January, the company said it had finished 2006 with more than 100,000 subscribers, but no exact total was given then either.

The company also reported that average revenue per subscriber during the first quarter held above $100 per month, a level that's about twice what mainstream cellular players generate - albeit from tens of millions of customers each rather than just hundreds of thousands.

Similarly, Amp's per-subscriber revenue from non-voice services such as games, music and video remained in the $30-a-month range, or about four times the industry norm.

Overall, downloads of videos, songs and mobile games doubled to more than 4 million compared with the fourth quarter of 2006. Of those downloads, 30% were of original content created for Amp'd, including the short animation series, "Lil' Bush: Resident of the United States" and live coverage of extreme sports.

"Demonstrating its focus on mobile entertainment, over 50% of Amp'd data (revenue) comes from content as opposed to the industry average of approximately 25%," the company said in its press release.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires"

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