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Bitbop Mobile Video Subscription Service Brings Premium Content to Your Smartphone

Fox Mobile Group (FMG) is announcing the launch of Bitbop today at International CTIA Wireless 2010. This new wireless subscription service turns your smartphone into a full-fledged entertainment center. For $9.99 a month, you will have access to a wealth of premium video content from the palm of your hand.

“Bitbop is an on demand subscription-based service that delivers on the promise of making the smartphone an easy-to-use entertainment device for television programs and movies. We are able to give mobile audiences the wide range of content they want, when and where they want it, with all the customer friendly features they expect.” -FMG chief marketing officer Chris Hoerenz

Bitbop’s subscription service is something like a mobile Hulu. You can browse and search for high-quality, full-length TV shows and stream or download them (temporarily). You can even set up a queue of shows to watch on-the-go. The service should be compatible with most major carriers and on most smartphones.

Joe Bilman, executive vice president global products, FMG, and chief architect of the Bitbop service shares how he realized that most people carry around these powerful mobile devices with no clue that they can do much more than email and web. He hopes that Bitbop will provide an “eye-opening” experience to show people what these devices are really capable of. “The marriage of on demand content and mobility has the power to ignite a fire in the smartphone space.”

The question remains as to whether mobile carriers will be able to handle this type of streaming video on a large scale. It seems that FMG chief technology officer Markus Thorstvedt hints at this when he says “Working across most carriers and a wide variety of devices, Bitbop’s technology can move the data robustly over the pipeline, providing a picture that exceeds expectations. Whether downloading or streaming, it will bring viewers the content they want and the ability to access it anywhere.”

This sounds like it could be a pretty awesome service. Video on demand in the palm of your hand sounds great. I just wonder if people will pay a monthly fee to watch shows on such a small screen. I’m sure there are those that do so now, but I don’t see the average consumer watching full-length content on an iPhone.

12 Comments

Comments

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thebrothatech says:

Yeah, bitbop will definately have to open up to many content distributors for it to compete…That's prolly one of the reasons I haven't totally jumped on board with Apple…too restrictive (I say that, but have already pre-ordered an iPad, lol!)

CMullner says:

“…I just wonder if people will pay a monthly fee to watch shows on such a small screen. …”

My point was really in response to this. Yes I think they certainly will. BitBop's success will really depend on how/what/whose content they distribute and how good or great the user experience is.

thebrothatech says:

I have no doubt mobile video on demand will take off. My question is will bitbop take off! I think most people are familiar/comfortable enough with iTunes…not counting the number of people who own an iPod/iPhone with video capability, to opt out of jumping on a new product. If the Android phones take off, I could see them working well with bitbop…only if they can hang with Apple!

CMullner says:

There are definitely signs that this will take off. My teenage and pre-teen daughters love watching shows on their Apple iTouch devices. They pay 2.99 for each of the “Glee” shows I believe and one mentioned that a movie she wanted to download and watch was 15.99 yesterday. A 9.99 monthly subscription doesn't sound like a lot when you think about that.

“…..for television programs and movies…” Will be interesting to see what/whose content they'll distribute.

Rahsheen says:

Nope. I have watched trailers and clips on iPhones, though. Like I said, I know there are people that do it, but I'm doubtful that a majority would be into it. Of course, that's just my 2 cents 😉

jackwelch says:

Rahsheen do you have an iPhone? People watch movies on their iPhone all the time. The experience is actually very good with a nice set of headphone.

“I’m sure there are those that do so now, but I don’t see the average consumer watching full-length content on an iPhone.”

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