CTIA - Mobile video getting bigger everyday

Continued growth of video content and video advertising on wireless devices

The continued growth of video content and video advertising on wireless devices is a popular theme at CTIA Wireless 2008 this week.

In one example of that growth, The Weather Channel Interactive in Atlanta announced that it will begin offering video advertising in June from its mobile Web site, featuring five seconds of weather-related video content followed by 15 seconds of a video ad, company officials said. Weather Channel Interactive claims to be the most popular content site on the mobile Web, with 6.3 million unique users per month last year.

Traci Van Deventer, direct of mobile products for Weather Channel Interactive, conceded in an interview that mobile advertising still concerns some users, but said Weather Channel Interactive users will decide for themselves when to stop watching the ads.

"If you look at the performance of online ads, a greater number of people are engaging them and, with video, find they get content they value as a result," Van Deventer said in an interview. Weather Channel Interactive already provides video advertising to desktop users, a profitable business, and expects that trend to continue with mobile users.

Weather Channel's mobile video service, which started late in 2007, already includes local forecasts for 100 cities. The video service technology, which is from Vantrix, ensures that a user's phones can access the content without the need to download added software. Weather Channel Interactive believes it will be the first to launch video mobile ads.

In another announcement, AT&T said it will offer two channels of TV content from CNN and Sony Pictures to users of LG Vu and Samsung Access phones, starting in May. Last week, the carrier said it would launch AT&T Mobile TV in conjunction with MediaFLO USA, a division of Qualcomm. MediaFLO has been offering TV content to Verizon Wireless users on several channels, analysts said.

AT&T also said it will offer mobile content from the 2008 Masters Tournament from Augusta National over Cellular Video and MobiTV. Subscribers to MobiTV will get live coverage at select times from April 9-13.

A variety of wireless equipment vendors also consider wireless video a priority, including Motorola. "One of the biggest consumer drivers of our business is video," said Daniel Moloney, the president of Motorola's Home and Networks Mobility division, in an interview.

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