Vodafone takes a walk on the wild side

18 Apr 2005

Dublin wireless content firm Wildwave has signed a major deal with a Los Angeles-based TV network to put independent and underground music videos on Vodafone 3G phones.

The deal will make Vodafone the first carrier in Europe to launch such a service. HavocTV Mobile builds on the successful video-on-demand channel, which has been available across the US since November 2003 via ComCast, Adelphia and other major cable operators.

With an unwavering focus on the vanguards of alternative, electronic, punk, gothic, metal, rap, hip hop and trance, HavocTV unleashes music programming that can’t be found on MTV or other music channels.

“This is the first service of its kind anywhere in the world,” explained Stephen McCormack, CEO of Wildwave. “Basically music lovers can go into Vodafone Live! and in the video and audio section HavocTV will be in a section called Indie. We will be putting new videos on every month.

“Music lovers are back into discovering new music because TV these days doesn’t play alternative music videos. Instead it’s all Britney Spears.

“Havoc TVMobile provides the perfect music video content for the key 16 to 34 year old demographic who increasingly want to explore new music in a mobile and on-demand way that suits their lifestyle.

“HavocTV is programmed and tailored for 3G phone customers with a total understanding of where and when it will be consumed. We are not simply squashing TV into a small screen, we are designing a mobile music experience from the ground up,” McCormack said.

The service on Vodafone Live! will provide a constantly changing selection of cutting-edge indie music videos, complete with pictures and bios of all the acts. HavocTV will eventually provide a full range of real-tones, track downloads and wallpapers to complement the video service.

“We are committed to providing a complete 3G music service for our customers and we believe HavocTV Mobile covers the essential indie sector for us and complements our other music video services such as MTV,” commented Michael Buisman, strategic partner manager, Vodafone Ireland.

Wildwave and HavocTV are currently in discussions with mobile operators to take the HavocTV Mobile Channel to other international territories, including North America and the UK.

“We see the mobile channel as becoming increasingly important in how our audience – a young, tech-savvy, passionate user – consumes and discovers its music,” explained David DeKadt, president of HavocTV.

In recent weeks, siliconrepublic.com reported on how the increasing popularity of real tones, full-track downloads and the emerging trend of ring-back tones will help to push mobile music revenues to more than US$9.3bn by 2009, according to Juniper Research. Whilst the downloading of mobile ringtones and real tones will comprise the bulk of revenues at around US$4.8bn, the market for full-track downloads is expected to increase from just US$20m in 2004 to nearly US$1.8bn in 2009.

Pictured were Stephen McCormack, CEO of Wildwave, and Micheal Buisman, strategic partner manager of Vodafone Ireland

By John Kennedy