Verizon Offers Music Videos to Go

Verizon Wireless and Warner Music Group announced an agreement
to offer music video downloads, potentially carving out a much needed new
revenue stream for the mobile provider.

Subscribers of V Cast, the carrier’s new multimedia downloading service that operates
on Verizon’s third-generation wireless network, will be able to download music
videos from Warner’s catalog of artists.

“We believe services like V Cast, which employ 3G technology, will quickly
become one of the most important and popular distribution platforms for
music and music-related content,” said Michael Nash, senior vice president
Internet Strategy and Business Development at Warner Music Group.

Verizon and the privately held Warner Music Group would not comment on
the financial terms of their agreement.

The launch of the service marks the first music video download store ever
available, wireless or via the Internet, in the United States, according to a Verizon
Wireless and Warner Music statement.

“Warner Music Group’s extensive music collection features some of the
hottest new artists, as well as classic favorites, and we’re ecstatic that
Verizon Wireless is able to provide that video and audio content to our V
Cast customers,” said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing
officer for Verizon Wireless. “V Cast on Verizon Wireless’ EV-DO network
enables us to deliver crisp, clear audio and video content for customers to
enjoy while they’re on the go.”

The new video service comes at a time when wireless carriers are looking
for new revenue sources. As increased competition continues to flatten
profits on wireless services, providers are seeking to add more value to
their networks.

As previously reported by internetnews.com, statistics
compiled by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association,
Federal Communications Commission, Telecommunications Industry Association
and Wilkofsky Gruen Associates indicate revenue growth is on the
decline and will flatten out in the next three years among wireless carriers.

However, the report said it wasn’t all bad news for the wireless
providers. The number of users cellular, digital and Wi-Fi
subscribers increased 10 percent from 148.1 million in 2003 to 163.1 million in
2004.

The collaboration between the wireless and music industries appears to be
a natural fit for both. While wireless has struggled with stagnating
revenues, the music industry has waged its own battle to recover revenue
after years of sagging sales due in part to illegally downloading tracks.

The service, which costs $15 a month, is available for the LG VX8000, Samsung SCH-A890 and CDM8940 phones.
The carrier plans to update its musical videos at least once a week and make
about 12 videos available at any one time for $3.99 each.

Warner Music has said the deal with Verizon does not prevent it from
selling its content to Verizon’s rivals, such as Sprint and Cingular Wireless .

News Around the Web