MTV is going mobile, and Motricity is the partner the media giant picked to support and deliver the service.
MTV on Wednesday announced “Bananas,” a subscription-based content service.
Motricity, which is based in Durham, will deliver the content and manage the service. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is certainly important,” an elated Ryan Wuerch, chairman and chief executive officer of Motricity, said in an interview with WRAL Local Tech Wire. “Off-deck markets has become one of the strongest means of reaching consumers as more and more people are looking for and using mobile content.”
By “off-deck,” Wuerch means that content providers such as MTV are offering video, music and other information direct to buyers regardless of the network service provider or kind of device that is used.
Through Motricity, MTV can deliver content to most of the major carriers in the U.S. and Europe. Motricity also updates each day the kind of devices its software supports, Wuerch said.
Bananas will include programming from MTV, MTV2 and mtvU plus music ringtones from several major record labels. Other music-related content includes sound bites, cast photos, graphics and wallpapers.
MTV recently began promoting "Bananas" heavily across its network, but details weren’t disclosed until Wednesday.
“They’ve had a teaser commercial for about 30 days now really promoting what was coming with MTV ‘going bananas,’ but no one knew what that meant,” Wuerch said. “As of today, tens of millions of people can begin experiencing mobile content in a new way from one of the strongest brands in television.”
MTV is looking to capture its share of the growing demand for mobile content. Informa Telecoms and Media, a research firm, recently reported that mobile content would produce $18.08 billion in revenues this year. Of that, 64 percent is spent on music and images. Informa estimated that mobile content sales will soar to $38 billion by 2011.
A key demographic of mobile content users is the 13-24 age group to which MTV appeals. Older users in the 25-34 age group have grown up with MTV, which was launched two decades ago.
The CTIA, a wireless and Internet trade association, estimates that there are now 229 million mobile phone users in the U.S. alone.
“We know that our audience is looking for great viewing experiences on multiple screens, and we’re focused on creating quality entertainment they’ll love for mobile,” Christina Norman, president, of MTV, said in a statement. “MTV has a unique advantage in this space thanks to our extensive experience with creating video our audience connects with, and we’re excited to offer that to our viewers on mobile.”
The deal is one of the highest profile ones for Motricity and could turn out to be among the largest financially if "Bananas" proves to be popular.
Motricity, which laid off 50 employees last month as part of a restructuring, already works with other entertainment companies such as BET, CBS, NBC and Universal music.