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.