Verizon Phones to Play YouTube Videos

YouTube is partnering with Verizon Wireless to provide video services to consumers' mobile phones.

Internet video service provider YouTube announced Nov. 28 that it will be bringing its video entertainment services to Verizon Wireless cell phones starting in early December.

With this new agreement with Verizon, YouTube will allow Verizon Wireless VCast consumers to access YouTube videos from their mobile phones for a limited time.

"We are excited to launch our new mobile service and to partner with Verizon Wireless to bring YouTube videos to a new audience," Steve Chen, chief technology officer and co-founder of YouTube, said in a company release.

Under this partnership, YouTube will provide VCast subscribers with an array of videos, as users will be able to access video clips by using any of the VCast-enabled handsets, such as the Chocolate (LG VX8500) or MOTOKRZR K1m.

By using the embedded YouTube services on their Verizon mobile phones, users will also be able to record and share videos.

"This service offers our community and Verizon Wireless subscribers a new opportunity to connect and engage with their favorite videos," Chen said.

Tole Hart, a Gartner Research analyst, told eWEEK that Verizon could benefit from this partnership with YouTube.

"For Verizon, this will create some buzz around Christmas time, the important selling season, and get people into Verizon Wireless stores," Hart said.

Verizon released VCast in February 2005, which at the time included episodes of soap operas and a 1-minute spin-off of Foxs TV show "24."

/zimages/4/28571.gifSteve Bryant says the YouTube mobile phone service is born to lose. Click here to read why.

"Delivering YouTube content gives VCast consumers a mobile connection to video content that has revolutionized how people are being entertained today," John Harrobin, vice president of digital media for Verizon Wireless, said in the same release.

Chen hopes that this is only the beginning of how YouTube will offer its services to the mobile user.

"We will continue to roll out more exciting partnerships and features for the mobile users over the coming year as we dont want to be restricted to the desktop," Chen said.

Overall, Hart believes that the partnership between YouTube and Verizon makes sense.

"This is a trial and the start of more to come," Hart said. "The business model is not completely hashed out for mobile video and will eventually include some types of advertising, and the mobile phone will begin to be on the content creation side as well. I think this is a good match for both companies."

Verizon Wireless consumers can obtain a VCast vPak subscription, which includes unlimited basic video, for $15 monthly access, or $3 daily access, added to their Verizon Wireless calling plan.

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