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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 17, 2007

Sprint brings VOD, real-time video to cells

Sprint subscribers will have more to watch on their cell phones soon. Disney, the parent company of the ABC network, has signed a deal with the cell provider to stream prime time programming to mobile phones.

by Kristina Knight

Subscribers will be able to access both real-time and video-on-demand services from their cells. Shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Lost and Hannah Montana are included in the deal. For the time being, only subscribers to the streaming video service will be allowed access.

Anne Sweeney, president, Disney-ABC Television Group said (via MediaWeek), "This deal not only provides new viewing opportunities for consumers, but also gives advertisers another platform to reach viewers and associate with our powerful network brands."

Beginning in the fall the platform will open to all Sprint customers because advertising will subsidize the cost. According to ABC, the ads served on the mobile platform will be geographically targeted, which should appeal to local and regional as well as national advertisers. The content will be offered in HD and ABC would like the ads to be offered in HD as well.

Some research has shown that users are more interested in receiving ads in exchange for mobile content that paying subscription fees. With more content available, more users will likely sign on to mobile platforms.

Earlier this week, AOL announced plans to purchase mobile marketing platform Third Screen Media. These changes - more content, ad-based programming and large online outlets investing in mobile platforms could signal a change toward more mobile content and marketing possibilities.

Tags: mobile marketing, mobile television, mobile video

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