Startups Offer Free Mobile Video

MyWaves.jpgA new Wall Street Journal article highlights the sudden wave of startups peddling mobile video. Traditionally, mobile video has been something the carriers tightly controlled, offering limited clips at relatively high subscription prices on top of subscriber’s current voice and data plans.

But with the advent of companies like MyWaves, Cellfish, and 3Guppies comes a much greater variety of cellphone video content, similar to what users expect from portal sites like YouTube on the desktop. YouTube itself is branching out into mobile with its iPhone deal and separate mobile site, while Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T offer broadcast and streamed mobile TV channels that run 24/7.

“But still the services haven’t caught on,” the WSJ noted. “Of the nearly seven million users who watch mobile video or TV from their phones every month, the vast majority watch clips sent to them from family or friends, rather than video prepackaged by a carrier, according to research firm M:Metrics Inc. Overall just 3.6% of U.S. cellphone users subscribed to a mobile video service in the first quarter of 2007, up from 1.6% in the year-earlier period, according to market researcher Telephia Inc.”

The article includes a video that demonstrates MyWaves in action.

Calling All Videos [WSJ]