Thumbplay News

--Expanded Role Encompasses Content Licensing, Partnerships and Programming--

NEW YORK — January 20, 2009 — Thumbplay, Inc., the #1 mobile entertainment destination in the U.S., today named Chris Phenner executive vice president, business development. Phenner, who joined Thumbplay in 2005 and most recently held the title of senior vice president, business development, is responsible for integrated partnerships, content licensing and content programming for the company. He reports to Evan Schwartz, co-founder and CMO.

The role is an outgrowth of Phenner’s accomplishments in securing partnerships for Thumbplay with some of the biggest names in digital media, including AOL, MSN, Comcast, RIM, Adobe, iLike, Clear Channel and some 2,000 self-service partners, thanks to the scale of Thumbplay OPEN. As executive vice president, business development, he will focus on Thumbplay’s category-leading relationships with content partners, expanding the company’s extensive catalog of MP3s, and deepening the company’s catalog of videos, games and graphics.

“In the past three years, Chris and his team have done amazing work developing and launching vital distribution partnerships,” said Are Traasdahl, CEO and founder of Thumbplay. “With the launch of Thumbplay OPEN less than five months ago, we are seeing significant overlap in content licensing and distribution partnerships which has made the process far more efficient for our company and our partners. With Chris leading the charge, we expect to see continued momentum and growth. His promotion is well deserved.”

Thumbplay OPEN, launched in September 2008, provides independent music and visual artists, application developers and Web site publishers the opportunity to package and sell their own digital media to millions of mobile customers. As Thumbplay's offering of tools for major label and studio partners continues to expand, many content partners are using Thumbplay OPEN as a means to drive subscribers, in addition to managing their content catalogs through Thumbplay. The success and widespread acceptance of Thumbplay OPEN has expanded Thumbplay¹s relationships to some 2,000 content partners. To learn more about Thumbplay OPEN and view a demo video, visit

Phenner has more than 12 years experience around software, digital media and online subscription services. Since joining Thumbplay in 2005, he has been responsible for driving new customer acquisition via numerous integrated partnerships. Phenner has also been the business lead for Thumbplay OPEN, enabling the self-service upload and sales of mobile content that is delivered over-the-air; opening up a marketplace that is accessible to more than 230 million U.S. wireless subscribers.

Prior to Thumbplay, Phenner was director of business development at Audible, Inc., business development manager at CNET Networks' and director of business development at Napster (1.0). He was also business development manager at and in marketing with Spyglass, Mosaic's original licensor.

Phenner has a B.A. in Political Science from Miami University and an MBA from a dual-degree program with U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University.


Thumbplay’s award-winning, direct-to-consumer service features licensed content from some of the world’s largest entertainment companies, including EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Pictures Television, as well as several independent labels and artists and video game companies. Thumbplay’s mobile entertainment catalog is integrated into Clear Channel Radio, AOL and MSN Mobile sites, as well as, one of the Web’s leading social music discovery services. Moreover, based on Thumbplay’s reputation for exceptional customer care and technological innovation, MTV recently tapped the company to power personalization content for the music giant’s mobile content site.
Each month, gets more than five million unique visitors and its mobile (WAP) site ( receives more than 12 million page views, making it one of the most popular mobile Web sites.

Headquartered in New York City, Thumbplay was founded in September 2004 by Are Traasdahl and Evan Schwartz. It is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, SoftBank Capital, i-Hatch Ventures, Redwood Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Meritech, Brookside Capital Partners and Cross Creek Capital. More information can be found at or at from a mobile phone.




Send facebook photos to your phone with Photo Portal.