AT&T Offers Buzzwire’s Streaming Media Content on Mobile Phones
It’s a big week for Boston-area mobile software companies looking to leverage the reach of national telecommunications firms. Yesterday Waltham, MA-based Quattro Wireless announced that Cox Newspapers has hired it to produce mobile-friendly versions of the websites for 19 Cox newspapers. Today, AT&T announced that its wireless subscribers can access a library of video, audio, and live radio content provided by Bedford, MA-based Buzzwire.
When we last checked in with Buzzwire in July 2007, the company had just begun a beta trial giving free Web-based mobile access to a variety of streaming content, from news podcasts to videogame trailers, at m.buzzwire.com. The company said then that it expected to ink deals with national cellular carriers to offer subscription-based access to streaming media directly from an application on the home screens of subscribers’ phones, without having to go to a website. Its deal with AT&T is the first such agreement.
The Buzzwire mobile media application, which can be downloaded from the AT&T Media Mall, requires a $4.99-per-month subscription and works on most 3G handsets available to AT&T subscribers (but not the Apple iPhone). The application gives users access to “Today’s Buzz,” a list of the most popular video clips from the Web, and also lets them create personal media channels mixing their favorite video, audio, and live-radio content, all streamed over AT&T’s data networks.
Buzzwire users who signed up during the beta trial will continue to have free access to the Web-based content. But starting today, new visitors to m.buzzwire.com will be limited to a two-week free trial, according to Buzzwire. At the end of the trial, they’ll have the option to continue the service through AT&T at $4.99 per month. All of Buzzwire’s content will still be available free to Web surfers using laptop or desktop computers at app.buzzwire.com.
“Buzzwire is all about giving people snippets of time in their busy schedules to stay on top of the latest videos, find the information they need, steal a moment to connect with a friend over a shared interest or simply tune out the world and enjoy,” Buzzwire CEO Andrew MacFarlane said in a statement about the AT&T deal. “We’re excited to work with AT&T to deliver a compelling and relevant mobile application that allows its customers to stay connected to the people and things that matter most.”
Mark Collins, vice president of consumer data products for AT&T’s wireless unit, said in the statement that Buzzwire is “a nice complement to our extensive suite of social-networking and video applications.” Alongside the Buzzwire announcement, AT&T also said today that it’s working with Los Angeles mobile startup Juice Wireless to offer cellular subscribers access to a video- and photo-sharing system called Juicecaster.