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More Music Video for the Handheld Market

29 Mar, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

There's more portable music video product available — both packaged and dowloadable — than ever thanks to deals inked recently between labels and handheld hardware suppliers.

Coming this spring is the launch of VideoNow Music, a line of mini-disc product featuring music video singles for the VideoNow handheld entertainment personal video player from Hasbro Inc.'s Tiger Electronics brand. The software for the players is the mini Personal Video Discs (PVD). The VideoNow Music line of PVDs will include one full-length music video from artists from the Zomba Label Group like Bowling for Soup, Britney Spears, Ciara, J-Kwon and Usher as well as artists from the Lava Group like Simple Plan, and Hollywood Record artists like Hilary Duff, Raven Symone and Jesse McCartney.

The PVDs retail at about $5.99, and some of the music singles will include behind-the-scenes footage of the artists.

The companies are going after the all-important tween market for the titles, said Julia Libari, SVP of marketing and special projects for Jive Records and The Zomba Label Group.

The original VideoNow was released in 2003 and has sold more than 2.8 million players and 9.9 million PVDs of programming, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Warner Music Group is targeting an even larger installed base of handheld users: Verizon Wireless customers. Early last month, the companies launched V CAST, a music download service that sends content directly to Verizon consumers' mobile phones.

Verizon customers in the company's EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) network — which includes 30 metropolitan areas and 75 million people — have access to music videos from such WMG artists as My Chemical Romance, The Used, Simple Plan and Story of the Year. Content is updated weekly.

The cost is $3.99 per video plus a $15 monthly access fee added to users' existing Verizon Wireless plans.

“We're thrilled to be the first music company to offer consumers our artists' music videos via digital download in the United States,” said Michael Nash, SVP of strategy and business development at WMG, in a statement announcing the deal earlier this year. “We believe services like V CAST will become one of the most important and popular distribution platforms for music and music-related content.”

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