3 unable to resist letting the anniversary of its launch go without making a splash.
The Hutchison 3G outfit has launched a video news and entertainment clips service, called Today on 3, which will let users download or stream content from 25p a clip. User will be able to access content by pressing the triangle key on their phone. Content partners include Sky Sports, MTV, ITN and the Barclaycard Premiership.
Oh, and also Pete Tong, a DJ whose name has become rhyming slang for things not going to plan. For example, you might say, “This 3G’s not what I expected it to be, the handsets keep over-heating and the video quality’s all gone a bit Pete Tong.”
On average, the operator says, there will be a total of around 72 minutes of content available each day, updated throughout the day. Clips will be packaged up to a hefty maximum of eight minutes and can be streamed to handsets using 3’s “Quickplay” option, or downloaded to be stored and played back.
Graeme Oxby, 3’s Marketing Director, said, “Today on 3 is going to bring you what you really need to know, when you need to know it – whether it’s breaking news or Thierry Henry’s latest goal in the Champion’s League. A video mobile is the perfect way to deliver it – it’s always to hand and the story is only seconds away.”
3 has been the subject of much criticism for its hasty launch last year, and for reducing the promised 3G wonderland to not much more than large voice bundles. With this service it will hope to put some of that to rest. The service has the look of a walled garden about it, and 72 minutes a day in total across news, sport and music doesn’t seem to be a lot.
The streaming option is based on 3’s Quickplay video streaming platform, which the operator launched in December 2003. Quickplay is based on technology from Vidiator. Vidiator’s product adapts video streams from source formats such as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 into the different formats required by diverse client devices – such as MPEG-4, H.263+, GIF, JPEG, and Windows Media.
The Vidiator streaming solution also converts audio formats including MP3, AAC, PCM, Windows Media Audio and GSM-AMR, so music, can be tailored to match the capabilities of mobile phones and PDAs.