December 11, 2008
Beta web video platform Babelgum will reveal a partnership with Vodafone that will bring its service to both iPhone and Nokia handsets. The well-funded European outfit has convinced the carrier to zero-rate data transfer for its VOD content in its native Italy and in the UK, meaning watching the service will be free to users.
Babelgum quietly launched its iPhone app globally around the same time its big P2P TV rival Joost did the same thing. But, unlike Joost's app – and unlike that under development by live TV streamer Livestation – Babelgum's will work over 3G as well as WiFi.
Almost all content from Babelgum is accessible through the mobile apps, but not some shows for which it doesn't have mobile rights, and the service will focus on promoting short-form content of 30 seconds to five minutes. For Babelgum, which is heavily backed by Italian telecoms billionaire Silvio Scaglia but has replaced three of its top executives in just over a year, this is a commercial trial to examine how viewers use its normally web-based TV service on mobile.